The Hardlight VR Suit Is A $449 Haptic Vest That Will Let You ‘Feel’ VR
If the primary trajectory of progress in terms of technology is easy access and instant communication — as exemplified by smartphones, social media, the cloud, and such — in gaming, its immersion. Increasingly realistic and uniquely styled graphics, motion control, and virtual reality experiences prove it; games are inching toward a more full-fledged overall experience.
With The Hardlight VR Suit, You Can Feel VR
The Hardlight VR suit proves it, too. A $449 police-like protective vest, the wearable is replete with vibrational elements that can emulate rumble-like features found on modern gamepads, but of course able to offer more complex feedback.
The vest comes with chest and arm motors, and the system is one-size-fits-all, any type of players would most likely find it readily wearable should they try it on. It features 16 vibrational nodes and haptic sensors, and also features sweat-proof material, so perspiration won't impede the device's supposed immersive quality.
The system will work with dedicated VR headsets and standard PC titles, as per a report by TechCrunch. Some games are already preprogrammed to integrate with the vest, while others simply add a touch of further realism to one's VR experiences. More impressively, the suit itself features a tracking system that augments the built-in tracking systems of the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, in order for the suit to understand where the wearer's limbs are relative to the headset.
Developers may also take advantage of the Suit's many capabilities via APIs, which will trigger the haptic pads as prescribed by a particular VR title.
Will VR Players Adopt The Hardlight VR Suit?
NullSpace VR's Kickstarter campaign for the Hardlight VR is currently more than halfway through a successful funding, and there are already a slew of games that'll readily support the system if it ever comes to fruition. Of course, it's hard to imagine Hardlight VR stepping out of the niche category — hell, even VR is kind of, at least at present, a niche product, given its technical and monetary requirements.
Still, it's pleasing to be reminded of products like NullSpace VR's, which bolsters the deeply rooted goal of video games striving for optimum immersion, provided, of course, that other bases are already covered, such as gameplay, graphics, and other elements.
Unlike many projects, this one seems immune to the Kickstarter curse of initial smoke and mirrors, which unfortunately fail to amount to anything despite successful funding. According to a report by RoadtoVR, the company has already took its latest Hardlight VR suit prototype to the World's Fair Nano event to show it off. The device is expected to ship sometime in September this year, provided that the Kickstarter campaign pushes through.
"We're changing the game with a fully-loaded suit. Other haptic devices out there don't fit the comfort and flexibility needed for true VR gaming," the device's campaign page reads. "Hardlight is built from years of intensive research and testing to maximize comfort and total freedom - at a price everyone can afford."
Thoughts about NullSpace VR's Hardlight suit? Do you think VR players will adopt such a peripheral? Feel free to sound off in the comments section!