A full-body haptic touch VR platform may be in development. HaptX recently raised $23 million to develop a VR platform that will simulate the sense of touch throughout the body, allowing for a more immersive experience than ever before. Users will feel like they are within the virtual world through simulated touch.
“In 2016, we started with the vision of full body immersion. We’ve continued that development. We needed to pick a piece of the market to bring the technology to. The obvious place to start is with the hands, which are most sensitive. That was the genesis for the Haptx gloves,” said HaptX CEO Jake Rubin in an interview with GamesBeat.
Haptic technology is a driving force behind metaverse immersion. Meta recently acquired Lofelt, a Haptic startup, to create next-level realism in virtual reality. Additionally, Chinese researchers developed a flexible haptic skin patch that allows the wearer to control a robot.
The funding round was led by Crescent Cove Advisors and AIS Global. Other investors include Verizon Ventures and Taylor Frigon Capital.
“We believe HaptX will play a foundational role in fulfilling the promise of the Metaverse as an immersive 3D successor to today’s 2D internet,” said Crest Cove Advisors’ chief investment officer, Jun Hong Heng.
HaptX is known for its HaptX Gloves DK2, which, unlike most haptic gloves, displace the wearer’s skin like touching an actual physical object does. The HaptX Gloves DK2 include over 130 points of tactical feedback per glove. This allows for a more realistic sense of touch than most haptic gloves, which rely on force and vibration.
The $23 million raised will fund the company’s next iteration of haptic devices with a goal of creating a full-body haptic suit that would allow users to feel the metaverse all around them. According to Rubin, HaptX is also exploring various research paths to enhance the HaptX Gloves DK2 and develop haptic feedback that extends to other body parts.
As for when consumers can expect the full-body haptic suit to be developed, Rubin told GamesBeat, “We’re not talking about a specific date yet, but obviously, it will be quite soon. And it’s going to be a huge leap forward for our products and our technology.”