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Enhanced Living Experience Through Simulation
Over the years we have seen a lot of development in terms of everything and more so technology than anything else. We have witnessed the development of Haptic Technology, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality among numerous other emerging technologies.
Haptic Technology is feeling the information in the virtual world via sensations. We have seen Haptics being implemented in video and arcade games for decades. This dates back to the 1970s, particularly in 1976, a game called Fonz implemented Verbo Tactile Feature to make the gaming experience better.
Decades later in 2010, a Tactile Gaming Vest was made to simulate a realistic gaming experience by adding to it sensations of gunshots, blood flow sensation, punches, kicks, and body blows. In works is Haptic Technology for feeling the heat, smell, taste, sound, and other nerve based reactions.
For the non-gamers, the simplest example of Haptic Technology is the mobile phone vibrations that you feel when you work your way around the phone. But that’s only one aspect of it. Haptic Technology in it includes a wide array of functionalities.
The types of Haptic Technologies are:
- Force Feedback
- Vibro Tactile Feedback
- Thermogenic Feedback
- Elece Ftro Tactileedback
- Ultrasound Tactile Feedback
The thing with Force Feedback is it affects ligaments and muscles, unlike the other feedbacks which are only skin deep. Vibro Tactile is usually used in video games. Other than video games and mobile phones, we have seen this technology in smart wearables such as wristbands and even shoes, there are technologies, that are inbuilt in the soles that can be put in the shoes that assist you, Lechal by Ducere Technologies. is one such invention that has made navigation easy. With it, you don’t have to constantly look down at your phone for navigation. The send out sensations every time you have to take a turn and sensations become more intense as you are nearing the turn. A great revelation for the visually impaired to be as independent as they can.
Virtual Reality is having experiences that are generated by the computer but are not real. The best and the most popular example of a VR device is the VR device by Google. Talking about real, authentic, full-fledged Virtual Reality, they are broadly categorized as follows:
- Fully Immersive
- Web Based
A Virtual Reality device should always be accompanied by a powerful computer that understands what the user wants in real time and adjusts accordingly. While this is what a Fully Immersive Virtual Reality device roots, the other types of VR focus on less intense alternate reality experience. Sometimes we don’t want such high-end alternate reality experiences and go for something small scale, something that is just an enhanced form of reality that is equally fascinating. And that is when Augmented Reality comes into the scenario.
Everyone knows what’s Augmented Reality, thanks to Pokemon Go that came into the market and everyone’s lives couple of years ago. Remember how everyone would walk into odd places at odd times finding their Pokemon? Thanks to the game we ended up in being in a lot of awkward situations. Augment in itself means to make something greater by adding to it. So all the Pokemon you found on random roads, in Churches, shopping malls, your neighbor’s attic are the augments.
Another example of augmentation are all the filters that you see on the popular social networking app Snapchat. The new filters that they keep adding to their collection the likes of floral crown or the dog filter and even your Bitmoji provided that you have synced it with your Snapchat profile are examples of AR integration. Pokemon Go might have been played by die-hard Pokemon fans and the ones who love to follow the trend. But one has seen augmentation more through Snapchat as according to a research conducted by GrabOn, suggests that they are 200 Million active Snapchat users.
Invasion of Technology
The application of these technologies is not just for gaming and entertainment purposes. They are slowly dwelling on other aspects as well. For instance, education and training where if someone is going to space, they are given simulation on Earth so as for them to adapt to the extreme zero-gravity conditions there and understand how it works. In the field of medicine, these technologies can be used by doctors to operate on patients remotely. The latest in the field of progressive technology is a brain-scanning headband that has inbuilt electrodes for a hands-free control of the Virtual Reality experience.
While for some people this invasion of technology can be a little overwhelming, I believe it had opened doors to so many opportunities in improving the quality of life. With some of these technologies are helping the differently-abled people live a more fuller life and that too independently.