EDITORIAL USE ONLY. MATERIALS ONLY TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH EDITORIAL STORY. THE USE OF THESE MATERIALS FOR ADVERTISING, MARKETING OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL PURPOSE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. MATERIAL COPYRIGHT REMAINS WITH FUTURE INTERFACES GROUP.
Researchers from a U.S. University have invented a headset that let's you kiss in virtual reality. The haptic feedback device utilises ultrasonic transducers to simulate a realistic sense of touch on your mouth, meaning it simulates touch by applying forces, vibrations and motions. The device uses a thin array of transducers integrated into the underside of the VR headset that direct ultrasound energy at different parts of the mouth. As well as kissing sensations, the tech could be used to drink from a virtual water fountain to experiencing the feeling of a spider walking across your mouth. 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. According to the team, the mouth has been largely overlooked as a haptic target in VR and augmented reality (AR), despite being second in terms of sensitivity behind the fingertips. Usually, haptic feedback applies vibrations to a person's hands via controllers, often in video games to match the gameplay. "Proximity of the mouth to the headset offers a significant opportunity to enable on- and in-mouth haptic effects, without needing to run wires or wear an extra accessory,' the researchers say. "We developed a thin, compact, beamforming array of ultrasonic transducers, which can render haptic effects onto the mouth.' "Importantly, all components are integrated into the headset, meaning the user does not need to wear an additional accessory, or place any external infrastructure in their room.' 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. Other examples include bushing teeth, smoking cigarettes, feeling rain and wind, and drinking from cups of coffee. When: 11 May 2022 Credit: Future Interfaces Group/Cover Images **EDITORIAL USE ONLY. MATERIALS ONLY TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH EDITORIAL STORY. THE USE OF THESE MATERIALS FOR ADVERTISING, MARKETING OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL PURPOSE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. MATERIAL COPYRIGHT REMAINS WITH FUTURE INTERFACES GROUP.**