This Disney jacket can simulate punches and hugs

Virtual reality experiments could soon become even more immersive thanks to a pneumatic jacket that can simulate many sensations in real time.

The Force Jacket Jacket is equipped with 26 airbags controlled by software capable of synchronizing with virtual reality movies and experiences. Each of these bags can be independently inflated with more or less force, depending on the desired effect.

According to scientists who developed the jacket in partnership with Disney, the Force Jacket can mimic the sensation of a snake that moves around your body, a punch, a hug or the vibration of a motorized vehicle.

The researchers also designed virtual reality applications to test their jacket, including a snowball battle game and another in which the user turns into a muscular monster in the manner of the incredible Hulk.

The prototype developed by Disney was assembled from a flotation jacket. The team first removed the foam from the jacket and replaced it with six bags at the front and six at the back. Two other bags were added on the sides. Adjustable sleeves have been grafted to the set to be able to suit different morphologies.

Challenges to overcome

The jacket has some disadvantages, however, as the researchers note. “The entire system is very cumbersome and restrictive for the user,” writes the team in its report . Moreover, thanks to the sensations provided by the jacket, a 360-degree virtual reality experience is possible; however, the ability of the user to turn or move in the virtual reality space is limited by the tubes that connect it to the vacuum and air pumps. ”

However, scientists are confident that they can improve their system to make it more suitable for an immersive virtual reality experience.

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