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High-Tech Vest Lets Gamers Take a Hit 117

Posted by Zonk
from the he-can't-take-it-there dept.
mytrip passed on a link to a PC World post about a unique accessory for FPS gamers. Called the 3rdSpace Gaming Vest, its goal is to translate in-game impacts into physical sensations. "Designed by a surgeon, the vest was originally created for use in the medical field to poke and prod patients in order to get a sense for what they were feeling. Since then, the vest has been adapted for the game industry, capable of delivering hits and shots exactly where you would feel them. Utilizing air pouches — four on front, four in back — the vest nudges and jabs gamers at eight different contact points."
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High-Tech Vest Lets Gamers Take a Hit

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  • use in porn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:28AM (#21053477)
    I predict the porno industry will find a use for it first, always being on the cutting edge as they are.
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      I predict the porno industry will find a use for it first, always being on the cutting edge as they are.

      Can't wait for The Larry Craig Experience 2.0, eh? ;-)
               
    • by rucs_hack (784150) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @05:03AM (#21053991)
      I predict the porno industry will find a use for it first, always being on the cutting edge as they are.

      Goddam! Rule 34 moves fast these days.
    • Indeed.

      Also, I can't wait to "overclock" one of these so it can do actual damage to a person. Then we'll finally see who's a "hardcore" gamer.
    • by Firehawk (7687)
      Today, 8 air pockets. In a few years, tactile sensation to the entire body with ability to specify locations accurate to areas smaller than an inch. In a few more years, the ability to convey various types of tactile sensation (e.g. textures) and ... lo and behold, cybersex will have a whole new meaning.
      • You actually don't need anywhere near an inch over a huge portion of your body. Here's the experiment, gratuitously stolen from the late Don Herbert.

        Get two sewing needles and a person you trust. Close your eyes and have them poke you with the two needles on, say.. your forearm. Have them move the needles until you can't tell whether there are two needles or just one. Open your eyes and be astounded!
        • by armareum (925270)
          You can do the same thing using just fingertips. Simply touch two fingers simultaneously and gradually increase the distance between them until the subject reports that they can feel two fingers, instead of one.

          Doing this on someone's back will give a distance of probably 10cm or so.
  • Interesting (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Heart thumping
    Super Mario Brothers? I
    Don't think so.
            - Anonymous
    • I misread it as "Let's Lamers Take a Hit"... I was looking forward to pounding some...
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, but that'll last all of five minutes until it's protocol is reverse engineered and they start flooding you with hits or something. Could you imagine the possibilities, if they ever make one of these that actually has any kick in it? Ohh hoho, I have a new perl project.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          In more important news, scientists are baffled by the latest reports from the independent research group 3rd Space [pcworld.com] apparently claiming that there are only 8 spots on the human body where you can actually be hit by a projectile.

          Get on the wire. Tell everyone how to shoot these bastards down.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Obyron (615547)
            Cheers. I thought the same thing when I read the summary. How can it claim to let you feel a hit exactly where it hit you, and then turn around and say that it only uses 8 contact points? By what rape of English does that mean "exactly?"
          • Hmmm... how about acquiring some Dragon Skin (tm) and using that and having a buddy slug you with an AK47 or an M16 right in those 4 spots.

            Much more "life like".

            Course Dragon Skin (tm) costs about $3500.00 USD, but it actually has practical uses (like helping you survive an unarmed walk to the store to gawk at all the shit you cant afford once the economy tanks).
  • Gaming? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by excelblue (739986)
    Sure wouldn't wanna use this when playing the next version of UT. Wonder what getting blown up into a few chunks feels like... Wouldn't like to know =D
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MORB (793798)
      Bleh.
      That goddamn stinger minigun would get even more annoying.
    • by DFENS619 (1008187)
      funny, I actually was thinking the same thing when i first read the article. :) but I would love to use it for ut3. It would give you a good advantage to know imediately what direction(s) you're being shot at from, especially if a sniper was hiding somewhere.
    • by donaldm (919619)
      The Sega Megadrive/Genius had a rumble vest although it wasn't so elaborate. I actually saw some of these in Tandy about two years ago and they quite cheap although all you could do with them was to salvage parts unless you could find a Sega game that supported the vest. The Megadrive vest was quite bulky although it was quick to put on and take off, however I have no idea of the actual price of the vest when it first came out.

      The problem with any add-on device is actually price with respect to the actual
  • I saw (Score:5, Funny)

    by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:35AM (#21053505)
    I saw "take a hit" and wondered why /. had an article about gamers playing stoned, only to RTFS and feel like an idiot.
    • Plus which if you were stoned and playing with that vest you probably wouldn't get much out of it anyway. "Whoa, dude ... I thought I felt something."
    • I saw "take a hit" and wondered why /. had an article about gamers playing stoned, only to RTFS and feel like an idiot.

      I'd be happy finding out why my best scores in games are when I'm lit...

  • Network (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:36AM (#21053509)
    i hope it can be used over the net, so i can finally punch the guy who won't capture the flag.
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      i hope it can be used over the net, so i can finally punch the guy who won't capture the flag.

      First Punch!
           
    • by russ1337 (938915)

      i hope it can be used over the net, so i can finally punch the guy who won't capture the flag.
      I hope it comes with a couple of extra hairy tennis balls so the teabagging will actually make them gag.
  • by hyades1 (1149581)
    Can underpants be far behind?
  • Okay, but (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:37AM (#21053517) Journal
    I'm NOT gonna wear their wired cod piece
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:38AM (#21053519) Homepage Journal
    Soon you'll be able to feel me stabbing you in the face in the next vi/emacs flamewar.
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Soon you'll be able to feel me stabbing you in the face in the next vi/emacs flamewar.

      Doctors will have to find ways to remove parentheses from one's ass after the Lisp-heads attack. Just don't get into flamewars about languages with asterisks; those can really hurt.
           
    • by rk (6314)
      I expect emacs users won't notice a difference.
  • by RichPowers (998637) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:42AM (#21053531)
    Otherwise it would've looked totally stupid...
  • Market for this? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Paul_Hindt (1129979) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:46AM (#21053543) Homepage

    People generally don't really buy such "specialty gaming peripherals", especially not the mass gaming market. While the idea itself is rather cool (although it would be cooler if it had electric shocks for the masochistic among us), these kinds of devices just never seem to catch on.

    The video game market has seen all kinds of niche peripherals throughout the years...octagonal rings to stand in, treadmills to run on, gloves and goggles to wear, scores of vibrating chairs and seats, weird orbs and wheels and hands-free input devices...loads and loads of things. People just don't really buy them because they either don't work as well as intended, they only work well with a couple of different games, or the peripheral is just too damn expensive for most of us.

    However, where such oddities really shine is in the arcade. It would be awesome to build arcade game unit that incorporated different input or sensory technologies which would really immerse the player into another world. Arcade games are perfect for that sort of thing because a whole game is built around the external unit.

    • by toolie (22684) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:55AM (#21053577)
      I think this is a product looking for a market. We did tests using something similar (called a 'tactile vest') to see if the added cues helped tactical pilots avoid terrain and identify the direction of targets quicker. The answer was an overwhelming 'no', the pilots hated it.

      So far its been through the medical field and the aerospace field. I guess gaming is the next stop on trying to find a problem to fit this solution.
      • Tactile cues to indicate target/threat orientation? With all the vibrations and jarring movement a pilot normally experiences I'm not surprised it didn't pan out. I recall research using positional audio to give pilots threat cues with audible warnings appearing to come from the direction of the threat. I never heard of anything coming out of that research, I wonder where it went wrong.
        • by toolie (22684)
          The tactile testing was done quite a while ago. It was before the 3D audio.

          Audio cueing is still ongoing. The first experiments showed some promise, but the pilots couldn't pinpoint the direction fast enough. One of the problems is how noisy the cockpits are already. There is constant chatter from the different channels, crew coordination, and outside noise (especially with weapons firing).
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          This just made me think of a really good idea. There's this guy who built a belt that vibrated on whichever side of his body was facing north. After a couple of weeks, he said he had a really good sense of direction, and always knew what direction it was to his house, or to some other firmiliar place. Anyway, if pilots could use this type of technology to have more spacial awareness about where they were. From my experiences in flight simulator, and Descent, it's very easy to get disoriented, and forge
      • I have to agree. First-person shooters are not foremost about an "immersive experience" in an alternate world. For dedicated players, they are an e-sport. If the peripheral does not improve performance in the game, the players will not be interested. If it does, it might be considered a cheat.
    • People generally don't really buy such "specialty gaming peripherals", especially not the mass gaming market.

      I think any new game device needs to be supported or bundled with the current killer game in order to be adopted. Most of these devices aren't on the radar because they're so niche and their audience is so small.

      I also think a lot of the ones that didn't catch on weren't quite ready. They reeked of prototypinitus; clunky, very expensive, and didn't really add any improved means of controlling or

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The most recent Gundam game has done just this in the arcade. It's taken the anime cockpits and made 'real' versions of them, the same lay out and everything, it seems to be quite the interesting game.

      http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-14983-Akihabara+News+test+Senjo+No+Kizuna%2C+the+ultimate+Mecha+Simulator+Arcade+Game..html [akihabaranews.com] has a video of it, but the guy has no clue what he's talking about nor really doing IMO.
    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @03:55AM (#21053773) Journal

      Well, I seem to recall such a gaming vest from some ten years ago... designed for Doom II, IIRC...

      So the first thing I thought was, wait, isn't that old news? Even by /. standards, really... (or is it another featured article for the 10th anniversary?)

      Anyway... I'd say there is a limited level of immersion people are generally comfortable with.
      I don't see this being beaten up while playing a game catching on any more than I see the scents accompanying movie pictures catching on. Maybe you'd like the scent of apple pie, but when zombies start walking around, not only the odd teenage girl will walk out to throw up - most people will.

      Too much immersion is simply no longer enjoyable, at least when that immersion includes negative stimuli. Someone above said he wouldn't wear the codpiece; I say, if they made the codpiece alone and paired it with a sex game, they might be on to something.

      Though I've always wondered whether the day will come when we'll be able to pick fights over the internet, wearing certain clothes to feel the other guy's punches... cyber violence at its most literal... ;)

    • However, where such oddities really shine is in the arcade.

      Yeah this'd be really cool in Laser Quest or something like that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kingtonm (208158)
      I sort of see what you're saying, but it's so cheap,why not? I mean $189 that's what, £15? That's the cost of a pint of beer and a packet of pork scratchings where I come from.
    • Quickly get on the phone to Ferrari, they are about to go bust, they make a niche product and Paul Hindt claims that means there is no market.

      Believe it or not everything has to be mass market to be a success. In fact the only requirement for a product to be successfull is for it to sell for more then it costs to produce. IF this company can produce say a thousand devices and sell them at a profit, they have made a... can you guess it, thats right, a profit.

      If they are not, well then they will join a long

    • yeah, niche peripherals like dance floors and guitar simulators will never take off.
    • Dance Dance Revolution.

      One game is all you need, if it's good enough.
  • Only a matter of time before they figure out a way to use this with pr0n. Not that I'm against it.
  • I can't help but think that this would be the next logical peripheral for the Wii. Imagine an upgraded tennis game with proper collision detection; the ball could actually hit you, or you could bump into the other players, or into the walls, all felt with light 'punches' from this vest. Or the boxing game, getting pummeled IRL as well as in the game. This has very good potential, especially for the Wii which is already aiming to make games more interactive than we're used to.
  • by QuickFox (311231) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:57AM (#21053589)

    Utilizing air pouches -- four on front, four in back -- the vest nudges and jabs gamers at eight different contact points."
    Air pouches? Nudges and jabs? You call that realism? Tsss! Wake me up when they've got a vest that will kill you for real.
    • by Adambomb (118938)
      I just want the ability to "Bitchslap-OIP".
    • Are you serious? And you complain about that camper that never leaves his spawn! Imagine what effect that would have. You'd have some 11 year old running around like billy bad @ss who'd scream like a girl, swearing hacker up and down, the first time he felt the flash hit him in the back of the head. Then you'd have some 17 year old mamma's boy who does nothing but camp his spawn with an awp and hide whenever he hears footsteps. Wait...that's not that much different then what happens now. Oh well, at le
    • by david.given (6740)

      Wake me up when they've got a vest that will kill you for real.

      Oh, those have been around for years. Just wear a Rangers shirt in the wrong area of Glasgow...

    • You can have that death. This is messed up. "Yeah, we want to make a product that hurts the gamers that buy our products. It'll sell like hotcakes! We're sure that gamers will simply love it!" Does anyone have any actual intent to buy one?
    • I'm surprised no one posted this: http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/00jun/uf001930.gif [userfriendly.org]
    • Rockstar Games is to unveil their new innovative force feedback system. The shiny box will contain a stainless steel crowbar, a set of sticky cardboard stars for indicating police activity, and an economy class airplane ticket to Brooklyn, NY. Pre-order now to receive a free baseball bat, and a bonus of one get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @03:00AM (#21053595) Journal
    With no ability to register any shots to your arms, legs, crotch, ass, or headshots... plus only four air bags on front and back, it sounds like it sure can let me feel *exactly* where I'd get hit.
     
    • by DavidD_CA (750156)
      I don't think the marketing claims to make it *exactly* like real combat. But, you gotta admit that's a bit cooler than a force-feedback controller.

      Not that I'd want one, but still it's a step forward to more realistic consumer-priced VR stuff.
    • Do you have to really feel EXACTLY where your being hit? Your telling me the lower right bag pumping into your lower back wont make you turn around and scan from where you got hit at? What difference does it make if you got hit in your foot or in the back of your leg.....I know what direction your in, and in an FPS, after figuring where the fires coming from the only thing left to do is move your mouse up, down then click. At least this will be a step above hit boxes. I mean...the right and bottom hitbo
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      With no ability to register any shots to your arms, legs, crotch, ass, or headshots... plus only four air bags on front and back, it sounds like it sure can let me feel *exactly* where I'd get hit.
      *Exactly* isn't really required IMO, but a fairly good indication of direction would be useful.
      Beyond that a rough indication of the body part (even just up middle low) would be more than enough.
    • by wboelen (916816)

      With no ability to register any shots to your arms, legs, crotch, ass, or headshots... plus only four air bags on front and back, it sounds like it sure can let me feel *exactly* where I'd get hit.

      So with a couple of enhancements I can finally kick people in the nuts over the net? Great!

      I like the way you think :p

    • ...crotch...
      Yeouch....!
  • by creimer (824291) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @03:08AM (#21053627) Homepage
    Don't forget the headband attachment so you can enjoy every headshot in UT3. :P
  • You die in the game, you die for real.
  • ... pull us back and bounce us off our bedroom wall in response to a hit?
  • first step into realising that ever so popular bash.org quote

      get up
      get on up
      get up
      get on up
      and DANCE
    * nmp3bot dances :D- i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet
  • How do 8 air bags, 4 in front and 4 in back, translate into " capable of delivering hits and shots exactly where you would feel them"?

    Not possible. Gimmick. Hyperbole of the Slashdot variety, similar to "everybody thinks xxx"...
    • Well, we tend to not have a whole lot of nerves on our back and chest (Think "low resolution" sensory perception here)... so 4 contact points on the back and front would actually be not that bad. If you don't believe me, have a friend/family member poke you in the back with an unspecified number of fingers and try to guess how many they poked you with... bet you're wrong ;)
      • Words have definitions. The definition of "exactly" is "exact", not "near to" or "around the area of", "sort of" or "in the vicinity". Break a rip or rip a muscle, you'll be able to tell exactly where it hurts with a lot higher degree of accuracy than dull pressure on 1/4 of your front or back. The only thing this vest simlulates is pressure in a relative area of your torso, it's nowhere near "exactly" what you would feel. Again, Slashdot hyperbole. This thing is about as "exact" as a Nintendo power glove.
    • For Street Fighter, I believe 8 directions would cover 100% of the directions you could possibly get hit from.
  • We need to combine this new gaming vest with these technologies:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/08/electric_shock_game_controller/ [theregister.co.uk]
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn831-shocking-games.html [newscientist.com]
    So at last the world can finally experience "Domination" (as played by 007 and Maximilian Largo in "Never Say Never Again"): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Say_Never_Again#Domination_within_the_film [wikipedia.org]
    (Now we just need some interactive game 3D holography...)
  • The Matrix has you, Player 1
  • by baelmain (1176943) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @05:30AM (#21054073)
    The Navy's been working on a system similar to this for years. However, where this system is for gaming, theirs is for pilots, Seals, etc (anyone who might need more info than they can look at). Its not in full use yet, but the website is http://www.namrl.navy.mil/accel/tsas/ [navy.mil]. Since everything but the homepage is broken, here's a brief rundown: normal vest, pneumatically activated vibrating bumps (about 30 sewn into the vest, each about the size of a dime), air pumps, controller. Program the controller to activate the pumps based on whatever input you want (ie, where is and how far away is the ground, where is the enemy). Each pump is tied to one bump (vibro-tactile actuator, if you want to get all nerdy). With the right controller setup, you can fly blind, land in a snowstorm, or lose sight of an enemy without losing awareness of where they are.
  • Interactor on camo (Score:3, Informative)

    by randomErr (172078) <ervin...kosch@@@gmail...com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @06:28AM (#21054301) Homepage Journal
    It just looks like an Interactor with cmo covering to me.

    Get one now: http://www.allproducts.com/manufacture98/vrgi/product1.html [allproducts.com]
    • Lol I remember the interactor, came out around the time of the u r not e (red colored e) PSX ad campaign. I still have one in my basement somewhere. Never really worked like they said so I was pretty disappointed with it just translating any sound into rumble. But I guess that is really all it could have done given what it was working with console wise.
  • Air pouches?! And only eight? Is that all they could come up with? I would have expected something a little more advanced. For example, low-voltage electric shocks would not only be more realistically distracting, but could certainly be applied with a higher resolution. Kind of like a larger version of this old idea [theregister.co.uk].
  • by hasbeard (982620)
    game plays you. (My first ever Soviet Russia comment).
  • Captain! They've removed the safety protocols on the holodeck!
  • Feels weird (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DMGregory (1176995)
    I got a chance to try this out at the GDC in San Francisco this past March. The TN Games guys had the booth next to ours and were really nice.

    I'm not much of a shooter player, so I felt pretty confused wearing it. Whenever I got hit in the back I kept physically turning around and looking over my shoulder as if someone had tapped me on the back to say, "You suck, let someone else try" ^_-

    Since I'm not used to the conventions of shooter games, it was kind of helpful in telling me when I was being attacked
  • i remember seeing this somewhere a long time ago for NES (and it failed) but it used electric shock for feed back :)
    • by galaxia26 (918378)
      So I'm NOT the only one to remember it. Thank goodness, I was afraid I was getting old. I do seem to remember a more recent incarnation, maybe for the Playstation?
  • Gosh, it's designed by a surgeon! Wow! That's gotta be way better than, say, having it designed by a gamer or an engineer! I want a car that's been designed by a surgeon! And a house! And I think surgeons should write the tunes for Brittany Spears' next album...
  • In Soviet Russia, camo vest shoots YOU!
  • I can't help but think that finally God listened to that prayer "please allow me to punch people over standard TCP/IP".
  • The X-Files, Episode 152 "First Person Shooter" [tv.com]. This was one of the William Gibson episodes.

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