Sat 30 April 2022:
People have been touting the Metaverse as a place where they can live out their desires, whether it’s fighting their foes on a battlefield or going on a date with the woman of their dreams.
However, for these encounters to be completely immersive, you must be able to feel as well as see and hear in the metaverse.
Scientists in Pennsylvania have revealed a steamy new technology that makes it possible to ‘kiss’ someone in the metaverse by sending life-like sensations to your lips, teeth and tongue.
Ultrasonic transducers connected to virtual reality (VR) headsets have enabled the new technology. The secretive new technology is said to stimulate touch by changing the VR headgear with vibrations and force.
A person in the metaverse can also drink from a virtual water fountain, drink tea or coffee, and even smoke a cigarette using the technology.
The prototype headset, which is an adapted Oculus Quest 2, has been developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Importantly, the modified headset doesn’t require any equipment to be put up against or into a user’s mouth; instead, the components are rested above the nose.
The Future Interfaces Group has published a research paper detailing its creation, as well as a video showing the potential applications of haptic feedback to the mouth in various virtual scenarios.
For example, when playing a horror game in the metaverse, or just in VR generally, it could be used to stimulate the feel of a spider web brushing across the lips or feel pools of slime running into the mouth.
Haptic technology that focuses on stimulating a variety of senses, other than simply just what we see, is seen as crucial to making the metaverse as life-like as possible by companies such as Meta (formerly known as Facebook).
The term ‘metaverse’, coined in the 1992 dystopian novel ‘Snow Crash’, is used to describe immersive, shared spaces accessed across different platforms where the physical and digital converge.
Mark Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook in his dormitory room at Harvard University in 2004, has described the metaverse as an ’embodied internet’.
Within years, Facebook users will be able to use the platform not on their phone or computer, but by donning a VR headset.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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