Tactical Haptics shows us future of VR controller feedback with Oculus integration

Although the rumble haptics in the Oculus Touch and HTC Vive virtual reality controllers do a good job of giving you an indication of something happening to your hand in virtual reality, they don’t have much nuance to them. A rumble here for this, a vibration here for that — but there are other haptic systems out there.

Take Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip motion controller. It uses sliding bars to generate the feeling of an item moving n the user’s hand. By all measures, the effect is quite realistic and one that would be fun to have as part of a VR controller. There are no consumer hardware releases with that sort of capability, but there is a Frankenstein mod that makes it a reality.

To show off its latest developments with controller feedback, Tactical Haptics attached its new Reactive Grip controller to Oculus’ Touch controller, letting users have that sensation of holding something for real, while also being able to translate their movements in virtual space.

The controllers are said to be rather long when fully set up, which would no doubt create some issues with balance and estimating your real hand position versus the virtual one, but RoadToVR says the effect is quite dramatic. Users can not only move their appendages around in VR, but when they use them, it actually feels like it, rather than pressing a button on a controller in your hand.

This is actually the third time that Tactical Haptics has made their controllers work with VR controllers — it previously attached them to the Vive’s wands and the Razer Hydra’s controllers. That suggests the potential is there for these sorts of control systems to be mashed together to create something far greater than the sum of their parts.

It might require some collaboration between the firms, and perhaps Tactical Haptics is hoping one of the technological giants it hopes to impress may look to buy it down the line. If that never happens, Tactical Haptics will continue to develop its controller and may offer it as an aftermarket solution to VR gamers.


Microsoft patent highlights a potential VR text input system

A new patent awarded to Microsoft could lead to a new typing method for virtual reality and on Xbox consoles. The virtual radial dial puts letters within easy reach of joystick commands and offers predictive typing, too.

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift, HTC Vive head-to-head: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual-reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Emerging Tech

What’s it like to die? This VR experience puts doctors in a dying man’s shoes

A new VR experience depicts the last days of a lung cancer patient. It is already being used as a teaching tool in hospices and medical schools. But can VR really make us more empathetic?

Samsung’s HMD Odyssey Plus gives you a clearer view into the virtual world

Samsung's refreshed HMD Odyssey+ promises to make Windows Mixed Reality experiences better by eliminating pixelated views caused by screen doors. The $500 headset also focuses on comfort this year with ergonomic improvements.

Facebook’s reported Rift 2 cancellation caused a rift with Oculus executive

Facebook may be prioritizing virtual reality on mobile experiences, which may have led to the company canceling development of the Oculus Rift 2. That may have been the cause of Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe quitting.

Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

The extreme mountain biking action of Red Bull Rampage is coming to your living room thanks to the power of augmented reality and 360-degree video that lets fans load a scale replica of the course right in their phones.

With flip-out lenses, the Vuze XR transforms from 2D to 180-degree VR camera

The Vuze XR is a compact, dual-lens camera with an integrated handle and a neat party trick: The back-to-back lenses can flip forward to transition from 360-degree, two-dimensional video to 180-degree, three-dimensional video.

Following the Portal, augmented reality glasses may be Facebook’s next step

Following the launch of its Portal smart display, Facebook says it is working on AR glasses, possibly in a move at challenging both Apple and Google and perhaps to rise up in the hardware scene. 
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.