Part of my WIP is imagining what life in a 100 years from now might be like. To do so, I’m building on exciting-sounding technology news which will probably be everyday affairs in a century. Having loved Virtual-reality goggles after trying them out a few months ago, I was particularly impressed by the announcement on The Washington Post that Disney unveils a prototype virtual-reality jacket to simulate hugs, punches and a snake slithering across your body!
As Hamza Shaban explains in The Post, in addition to seeing a snake through a virtual-reality headset strapped to your face, you’re wearing a jacket filled with airbags that mimics the pressure and vibrations of a serpent moving across your body. The jacket is meant to give a heightened sensation that goes beyond playing a video game or watching a movie. The jacket can reproduce a variety of sensations, adding new kinds of perception and depth to VR.
The Force Jacket contains 26 inflatable compartments, which can reproduce more than a dozen “feel affects,” such as a hug, a punch or a snake slithering across your body. These sensations are created by modifying the speed, force, and duration of inflating or deflating the airbags. The pressure and vibrations can also correspond with visual displays, allowing users to feel the actions they perform and witness in a VR game.
The researchers developed three prototype VR simulations to showcase the jacket. One placed a person in a snow-covered front lawn in the middle of a snowball fight, while another allowed users to feel a “friendly” cartoon snake slither up their torso and squeeze their chest. The third simulation put the user’s avatar shirtless in a bathroom, as they see and feel their bodies transform into a “muscular hero,” their arms bulging like a bodybuilder’s.
Now, all we need for the technology to take off is for the porn industry to take notice…