Engineers from Germany and Canada created a virtual reality helmet that conveys the sensation of interacting with the virtual world with the help of ventilation, heating and wetting of the face and by touching him. Software hat sinhroniziruete these impacts with events in the virtual space, so the immersion level of the user increases, say the authors of the article, which will be presented at the conference CHI 2020.
VR greatly increases immersion in the game or other application due to the fact that visual and acoustic stimuli are synchronized with the movements of the head. However, studies showthat non-visual stimuli also play an important role in immersion, and affect the efficiency when performing tasks.
The main direction of research in the field of non-visual stimulation in virtual reality for physical contact of the hands in interaction with objects. Most often the researchers and engineers use gloves that resist the movement of the fingers and thereby simulate hard objects. Some development of stimulation are exposed at the same time many parts of the body or faceas one of the busiest receptors of different types.
Engineers under the leadership of Ernst Kroupa (Ernst Kruijff) from the University of applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg has created a VR helmet that can influence the user different incentives, but does not require to arrange around him a dedicated space with a multitude of devices. The basis they took the popular Oculus Rift headset, and it established a manipulator with four degrees of freedom. It is attached to the top of the helmet and hangs down to the level of the neck. The manipulator is mounted on a pair of servomotors and linear actuators, nozzle for sprinkling water, a heater, a fan and a tip which may touch the face.
The manipulator on the helmet can operate in two modes: centered on the user, that is, to maintain their position as individuals or relative to the virtual world, that is, to rotate in the direction opposite to the rotation of the head. Engineers have developed a virtual environment where the user walks in the woods, and a variety of effects synchronized with the items on the manipulator: wind simulated by a fan, the touch leaves the simulated soft tip that slides on a face, the sunlight meets the heater face and the wind can also be supplemented by spraying of small drops that simulate fog or moist environment.