Virtual reality with touch? What could go wrong? A research team has now shown that lips can be stimulated in a way that feels real with ultrasound. It’s not a kissing simulation – instead, it’s also about spiders.
VR glasses with lip sensations via ultrasound
After seeing and hearing in virtual environments, the sense of touch will soon also be served. Researchers from the Future Interface Group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have presented a new project called “Mouth Haptic.” The focus here is on the lips of VR glasses wearers.
According to the researchers, it was possible to transmit emotions using 64 ultrasonic transmitters. Sound is sent to the mouth of the wearer of the VR glasses, which he perceives as touch. The transmitters can be controlled individually and are located under the VR glasses. So the mouth remains free. The pressure waves are generated to offer a frequency between 40 and 70 kHz. The “Mouth Haptic” project is not officially about a kiss simulation, even if it is obvious. Instead, the different frequencies, amplitudes, and phase shifts should offer a whole range of haptic possibilities in VR worlds. Wind or rain on the lips should be felt, and spiders crawl over the mouth. It is even said that the feeling of brushing your teeth can be simulated.
Realistic VR: Not a finished product yet
To date, the presented model is just a prototype. Time will inform, assuming this type of product will be available to buy. The mixture of VR glasses and ultrasound transmitters isn’t a brand-new concept either, even though the “Mouth Haptic” project represents a genuine step forward.