If you’ve ever wanted to literally feel that punch in Mortal Kombat, the wearable device Impacto should be right up your alley.
No, it doesn’t do that by making you feel pain (because, c’mon, who wants to pay money for that?). Created by researchers at the Human-Computer Interaction lab (HCI) at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, Impacto works by combining haptic feedback and skin vibrations with electrical muscle stimulation. Then, as Gizmodo notes, the armband simulates the effects of impact force by essentially pushing your arm in that direction.
The tech demo works with a boxing game, which allows the user to feel punches to the arm. Basically, it's Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! in virtual reality. Which, yeah, is what the 8-year-old inside of you has always wanted. So, enjoy. Next up: a spine accessory for some of the cooler Fatalities out there (OK, not really).
It’s a fascinating concept, and though admittedly a bit silly, it’s the first step in what is certainly going to be a very long journey toward enriching virtual reality experiences. With everyone from videogame makers to film studios (and even the New York Times) jumping on the virtual-reality bandwagon, tech like this will continue to crop up and become more refined.
Check out the Impacto in action below and let us know what you think:
Now, where’s my holodeck?