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'Phantom sensation' haptic tech recreates the feeling of getting virtually stabbed

'Phantom sensation' haptic tech recreates the feeling of getting virtually stabbed
Lydia Leavitt
Lydia Leavitt|@lydialeavitt|September 15, 2011 6:58 AM
When it comes to gaming, the more realistic the better, right? Sure, it's all fun until we start talking about being virtually sliced with a battle axe or pelted with a rocket launcher -- exactly the idea behind a new technology dubbed "phantom sensation." Researchers at the University of Electro-Communications know that to virtually recreate the feeling of touch, they need to apply vibrations to two points of skin. Taking the idea one step further, they applied the stimuli to either side of the body to mimic what it might feel like if the object actually passed through. Using a tweaked Wii, as an item in the game travels through the player's hand, the top sensor vibrates intensely at first, then subsides to zero. At this point, the bottom probe kicks in, going from zero to strong until the object is cleared -- leaving the player feeling slightly violated and virtually gored. Check out the (relatively) painless demonstration video after the break.

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