With long-awaited virtual-reality headsets like the Oculus Rift finally hitting retail shelves, the much-hyped VR revolution is upon us. Now, a new hoodie promises to optimize the VR experience.
The Shadow, from technology and design company Artefact, based in Seattle, has a suite of wearable technology and a number of built-in sensors for the discerning VR consumer.
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It's all strictly concept-stage for now, but the design is based on actual and emerging VR tech.
The hoodie itself would provide another level of peripheral vision isolation for the wearer, while a miniaturized external camera system would track facial expressions or moods. Smile in the real world, and your in-game avatar will smile as well.
In a nod to making VR a bit more social in polite company, an external screen on the visor itself can be flipped on to display the user's eyes or to project whatever is happening inside the VR simulation.
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Meanwhile, the headset is attached to wearable computer modules and batteries on the shoulders so that there are no visible cords running from the visor. Further down the arms, the Shadow ensemble incorporates force-feedback sleeves for haptic input, plus a vibration pack to simulate tactile sensations.
Finally, the Shadow system features sensors at the wrists for gesture recognition. As this technology improves, the wrist sensors could track precise finger movements used as a primary input device in games and simulations.
The Shadow concept is just one of several potential designs that Artefact designers are noodling with. You can check out the other ideas on the Artefact web page.