TEGway, a spin-off of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, has created a device which is meant to significantly boost the VR game experience. The device is being called ThermoReal. This device will enable the users to feel elements such as heat, cold and even pain in virtual reality.
If a user is wandering through a flame in a VR game, they will feel heat build-up in their hand or if user jumps into a freezing cold lake, that sensation of coldness will start to spread across palms accordingly.
The device can produce heat and cold on different areas at the same time, which, apparently, replicates what a pinch feels like. The thermo-electric device can go from 4 to 40°C. The company uses flexible thermoelectric devices that are able to convert body temperature into electrical energy. Electric currents can also be run through the device, which can either cool it down or heat it up.
An AR app on the phone can recognise drawings in a book as hot or cold, and translate the temperature to the stick in the user’s hand.
The company demonstrated its ThermoReal technology at the HTC Vive X accelerator event last week in San Francisco. For the cold simulation, users watched a man slowly dip himself into an ice pool, and the deeper the man went, the colder the stick became. In another simulation, a flame was shown slowly moving across someone’s palm, and users could feel an intense heat shift around their hand.
TEGway has filed several patent applications related to the technology. TEGway still has to partner with manufacturers before its technology hits the shelves.