The Haptics wave is coming!

At the time of this writing, Woojer’s Kickstarter was at $1.2 Million with 38 days to go. Backed by over 5000 enthusiastic backers, the campaign for this haptic line that includes belt and vest variants seems well on its way.

Touted as must-have accessories for music, gaming, and VR this is just the latest in line of a series of popular crowdfunding campaigns for such products. Other similar successful campaigns in the past have included Kor-FX, iMotion and HardLight VR.

Key ingredients of Woojer’s success seem to be their great reviews, relatively short-time-to-market, affordable price points and product range. Starting at $99 (for the Strap Edge variant) these really seem like off-the-shelf consumer products.

Haptics seems to be the obvious next step to immersion. The engagement of the somatosensory cortex in media provides an added realism to the storytelling.

Stories that you can you feel will be more memorable, emotional and believable. These devices also upgrade our enjoyment of more conventional entertainment such as music.

This is very telling. Where earphones, on their own, seem to be isolating. As evident in the video above, listeners, equipped with these devices , felt more like participants in a social experience such as a club or concert.

For Serious Games, Immersive Learning and Simulated Practice, this technology holds a lot of promise.

Greater immersion and engagement is directly proportional to the retention of learning and the effectiveness of the learning intervention. The affordability of these devices will make their adoption easier and more prevalent.

The Haptic Wave is here!

About the Author: 
Siddharth Jain is the Creative Director for Playware Studios a Singapore Serious Games Developer. He develops games for Military, Healthcare, Airlines, Corporate, and Government training and Mainstream education. He has taught game design in various college programs at NTU, SIM, NUS and IAL in Singapore and is the author and proponent of the Case Method 2.0 GBL pedagogy.

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