Pairing tactile feedback with visual cues can keep the experience immersive, not jarring
C.C. Berger et al/Science Robotics 2018
There’s a fine line between immersive and unnerving when it comes to touch sensation in virtual reality.
More realistic tactile feedback in VR can ruin a user’s feeling of immersion, researchers report online April 18 in Science Robotics. The finding suggests that the “uncanny valley” — a term that describes how humanoid robots that look almost but not quite human are creepier than their more cartoonish counterparts — also applies to virtual touch (SN Online: 11/22/13).
Experiment participants wearing VR headsets and gripping a controller in each hand embodied a virtual avatar holding the two ends of a stick. At first, users felt no touch sensation. Then, the hand controllers gave equally strong vibrations every half-second. Finally, the