Tactical Haptics Introduces New SaberGrip for Haptic Feedback in VR Swordfights and Fishing
Tactical Haptics builds haptic controllers for virtual reality arcades. Its latest accessory is known as SaberGrip and the form factor provides a significant boost in immersion particularly in VR sword fights and fishing simulations.
SaberGrip was revealed this week and has the shape of a sword handle. It also has the same working mechanism (haptic actuation) found in its other standard edition controllers but with the new form factor, it offers users a more natural feel for certain kinds of immersive experiences like sword fighting. Tactical Haptics also developed a tech demo that is based on the concept as shown below: –
If the virtual sword in a VR app hits a virtual object, the mechanical segments of its handle will slide up and down to create a specific haptic effect in the palm of your hand. The effect is quite impressive and simulates the real-life feeling you would get from using a sword.
The haptic experience works in such a away that a contact with your opponent’s sword, shield or the body is felt via the physical sliding plates in SaberGrip which generates the haptic illusion.
The SaberGrip controller was originally intended for a cheaper variant of Tactical Haptics’ standard controller that was built for VR shooters.
Tactical Haptics decided to develop the prototype into a fully-fledged product and then programmed a sword fighting tech demo into it after an arcade partner expressed interest in SaberGrip. You can see the prototype in the video above.
Future updates to the tech demo might also incorporate multiplayer support that will enable players to settle their scores on the battlefield in more realistic-feeling sword battles. The controllers, however, don’t have the same modular design found in Tactical Haptics’ other controllers. It has been built for specific types of experiences.
The VR Controller with a Fishing Attachment
Another example that Tactical Haptics revealed was that of a VR fishing demo. In the demo, the user feels a tug on their palms whenever they are trying to catch a virtual fish. The company stated that this new style haptic controller was developed following a buzz of interest from its arcade partners. According to the company, the two-handed version of the SaberGrip that it also developed can be beneficial for such experiences.
The SaberGrip controller will only realize its full potential in some of the epic VR sword fighting games like Until You Fall and Blade & Sorcery. It can also come in handy in the VR rhythm and slash game Beat Saber. The two-handed variant of the SaberGrip which Tactical Haptics also developed covers all haptic applications. It is designed with a longer sword handle that enables you to use both hands.
Tactical Haptics second tech demo showcased the potential for using the SaberGrip haptic controller for haptic simulations like Real VR Fishing. In this case, the haptic feedback enables the user to feel the resistance of the fish when they are pulling the line as shown below: –
The SaberGrip controller is still as expensive to build as the standard controller version and is therefore being sold only to companies and virtual reality arcades. It supports all the most common virtual reality tracking systems including OptiTrack and Vicon.