Skip to main content

Wild new haptic feedback VR vest looks like something out of Ready Player One

Virtual reality has made some big strides on the visual front in recent years and managed to free the headset from anchor-like cables, but there has still been something missing. A Korean company is betting that physical interaction might bridge that gap.

Ahead of CES 2021, bHaptics has introduced a range of wireless haptic vests that will provide physical feedback from VR and gaming content. Prices start at $299 and vests work with the company’s haptic sleeves, face cushions, and hand and foot devices, creating a whole-body effect for gaming enthusiasts.

The Tactsuit X16 ($299) offers 16 different vibration points, while the Tactsuit X40 ($499) comes with 40 vibration points. The company says the vests are currently compatible with more than 50 titles on SteamVR and Oculus Quest, including Onward and Pavlov. Other games are in the works.

The vests weigh 3.3 pounds and are one-size-fits-all. They utilize a Lithium-ion battery that the company says will last up to 18 hours on a five-hour charge.

Both vests connect to systems via Bluetooth, meaning they’re not tied exclusively to VR devices. A patent-pending audio-to-haptic software device will let users “feel” feedback when listening to music, watching movies or playing a game on any platform. Users can also create their own settings for different types of content.

A full-body haptic setup won’t come cheap, though. Beyond the vests, which ship Feb. 8, you’ll shell out $149 for a haptic face cushion with six vibration points, $249 for arm sleeves with six vibration points per arm, and another $250 each for hands and feet devices, with three vibration points per appendage.

“We are thrilled to showcase the new TactSuit X series at CES 2021 and look forward to building partnerships with content developers so that we can provide a wider range of TactSuit-compatible content to our users,” said Kiuk Gwak, CEO of bHaptics. “The TactSuit X series will become the first consumer-ready haptic display in the history of human-computer interface.”

Editors' Recommendations

Chris Morris
Chris Morris has covered consumer technology and the video game industry since 1996, offering analysis of news and trends and…
Cities: Skylines 2: release date window, trailers, gameplay, and more
A screenshot from Cities: Skylines 2's cinematic reveal trailer.

After the Sim City franchise faded away, gamers were left with few options when it came to city-building simulations. That changed when Cities: Skylines came out. The first game was a smash hit, filling the void left by the pioneer of the genre, and in many ways even surpassing it. However, that game came out in 2015, and even the numerous updates and DLC packs added to the game could only extend its life so long. Now, Cities: Skylines 2 has been officially revealed and fans have already built up their hopes as high as skyscrapers. Have the developers designed the perfect system for this sequel to thrive and grow? Let's take a bird's eye view and see what groundwork has been laid for Cities: Skylines 2.
Release date

As of the time of this writing, Cities: Skylines 2 doesn't have a specific release date and is only slated to come sometime in 2023.

Read more
The best upcoming PS5 games: 2023, 2024, and beyond
Final Fantasy 16 key art.

The PlayStation 5 has been out for some time now, and its reception has been mostly positive. It includes lots of quality-of-life improvements over its predecessor, the PlayStation 4, such as faster load times, a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD), and an improved controller in the form of the new DualSense. However, a console is only as good as the games available on it, and thankfully, the PS5 has you covered on that front as well.

While the machine already has a worthy library of great PS5 games, there are even more to look forward to, with some releasing as soon as this month, while others are still years away. In the video game world, it's not uncommon to be aware of games that are still several years out from release. It's also normal for a new game to be revealed and launched within just a couple of months. In this comprehensive list, we'll go through the major PS5 releases scheduled for 2023 and speculate on future games.

Read more
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is almost perfect, but it could use these tweaks
Link looking shocked holding rice.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a monumental game. It unleashes player creativity with Ultrahand and Fuse, features three vast open worlds for players to explore, and still tells a rich and enthralling story that expands the mythology of The Legend of Zelda series. Still, no game is perfect. While Tears of the Kingdom will likely go down as my game of the year for 2023 and potentially one of my favorite games ever, there are still a few things that the game could do better.

And no, I’m not talking about removing weapon degradation. After spending hours upon hours with Tears of the Kingdom, some user experience quirks became more annoying and noticeable. None of them are game-breaking, but they are still areas where Nintendo can stand to improve as it updates and expand upon Tears of the Kingdom or potentially do another game in this style. Here's what I hope to see change to make this version of Zelda an even smoother and more seamless experience.
Make disconnecting Ultrahand creations easier
Ultrahand is a revelation for Tears of the Kingdom that allows players to create some really creative things and solve puzzles in any way their minds can imagine. That said, one aspect of its controls still baffles me: the only way to "Unstick" objects stuck to each other is by moving the right stick back and forth or shaking a Joy-Con remote. It's a bafflingly clunky way to do things for what is otherwise such a delicate and precise building system.

Read more