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Author Topic: Controller gives directional cues via analog sticks...  (Read 1728 times)

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« on: March 05, 2012, 11:15:02 PM »
University of Utah engineers have designed a new kind of video game controller that gives players the sensation of the tug of a fishing line, the recoil of a gun or the feeling of ocean waves.

The controller delivers directional cues to the player by stretching the skin of the thumb tips in different directions.



"We have developed feedback modes that enhance immersiveness and realism for gaming scenarios such as collision, recoil from a gun, the feeling of being pushed by ocean waves or crawling prone in a first-person shooter game," says William Provancher, an associate professor of mechanical engineering.

"I'm hoping we can get this into production when the next game consoles come out in a couple of years."

The prototype looks a lot like the controllers for Microsoft's Xbox or Sony's PlayStation - but with a little addition to the controller's normal thumb joysticks. In the new controller, the middle of each ring-shaped thumb stick has a round, red 'tactor'.   
       
If a gamer's avatar runs into a wall, the tactor under the thumb moves back to mimic impact. Both tactors can move from side to side to mimic ocean waves. And when a fish bites in a game the researchers tried, "as the fish jerks on the line, you can feel the tactor jerk under your thumb," Provancher says.

While most video games are designed so the left thumb stick controls motion and the right controls the player's gaze or aim, the Utah controller manages things slightly differently.

As a soldier avatar crawls forward, for example, the player pushes the left thumb stick forward and feels the tactors tugging alternately back and forth under both thumbs, mimicking the soldier crawling first with one arm, then the other.

Provancher hopes that, along with gaming, the new controller could be adapted for use as a smart phone peripheral device. A phone would fit into the device with game-controlling thumb sticks and tactors on each side of the phone.

Source:  http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-features/61857-new-game-controller-tugs-on-players-thumb-tips
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 11:24:03 PM »
I had thought about this idea many times in the past, but I'd always thought more in the "as the fish jerks on the line, you can feel the tactor jerk under your thumb" sense than the "If a gamer's avatar runs into a wall, the tactor under the thumb moves back to mimic impact" sense. For some reason, that makes it make a lot more sense to me, and is what makes it seem like force feedback sticks could end up being as ubiquitous as rumble -- not just as a big sensational thing to add an additional challenge, but a very simple, very subtle little addition that adds to immersion and intuitiveness, without necessarily being noticeable.

Quote
As a soldier avatar crawls forward, for example, the player pushes the left thumb stick forward and feels the tactors tugging alternately back and forth under both thumbs, mimicking the soldier crawling first with one arm, then the other.
And now I'm getting flashbacks to the Test of Fear.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 07:30:08 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfUxpOJXdYk" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfUxpOJXdYk</a>

Source:  http://www.geek.com/articles/games/haptic-thumbsticks-add-pull-and-stretch-feedback-to-game-controllers-2012036/
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 05:27:21 PM »
If I recall correctly, the guy who designed Marble Madness wanted the trackball to have force feedback, but it was too expensive to make. I hope this technology isn't cost prohibitive.

 This also reminds me of the Atari racing games that had steering wheels with resistance. Those would also steer themselves during the demo.

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