Japanese tech company H2L is developing a technology that will let users feel pain and other sensations when interacting in the metaverse. The company – backed by electronics giant Sony – has developed an armband that detects the flexing of human muscles.
The armband allows metaverse avatars to copy the user’s body movements and feel objects while also utilizing electrical stimulation to control arm muscles, thus allowing users to feel familiar sensations. It’s all in a similar vein to the Emerge home system, which promises to bring physical touch to the metaverse.
“Feeling pain enables us to turn the metaverse world into a real-world, with increased feelings of presence and immersion,” says chief executive and co-founder of H2L, Emi Tamaki.
Tamaki, who researches haptic technologies, plans to use this new tech to “release humans from any sort of constraint in terms of space, body and time.” Her goal is to achieve this by 2029, by which she believes the H2L armband will have various potential applications. One can only speculate how such technology will improve game immersion and the application of healthcare in the metaverse.
Tamaki came up with the idea to create a way to experience physical sensation in a virtual world after a near-death experience in her teens. She went on to co-found H2L after earning a Ph.D. in engineering.
“People like me, who cannot go out often because I don’t have enough muscle due to heart disease, can now travel anywhere, anytime,” Tamaki told 24/7 Crypto.
Beyond H2L’s haptic armband, other innovations in haptic and related technologies are bringing about advancements in robotics and healthcare with the field set to be a huge growth area. Researchers in China have developed a haptic skin patch through which an operator can control a robot. Likewise, Cambridge University researchers created a self-healing 3D printed material for soft robotic applications. Additionally, ImmersiveTouch has developed VR technology to aid in high-risk surgeries.