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High Fidelity and NeoSensory Launch Haptic Jacket, Bringing Realistic Touch to Virtual Reality

Imagine a virtual world in which someone claps you on the back, or rests a hand on your arm during conversation...and you feel the sensation as though they were right there with you (March 29, 2018)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --High Fidelity, maker of an open source platform for social VR, and NeoSensory, creators of hardware to extend the human senses, announced today a haptic jacket that enables its wearers to feel body contact and the environment in VR. Known as the exoskin, the device features 32 sensory motors and interfaces with High Fidelity's open source architecture for hardware devices. A wearer feels real-time, precise haptic sensations transmitted between users in a virtual world. The fast speed of the signaling means a wearer can feel another avatar's tap or graze immediately and two people can even perform a dance together, cueing off each other's touch.

 (PRNewsfoto/High Fidelity)

"The promise of VR is in collapsing the distance between people and putting them face-to-face," said Philip Rosedale, High Fidelity CEO. "Touch is a critical part of the experience of human presence and communication. With their deep neuroscience research and experience with haptic response, NeoSensory has made a virtual skin that solves the absence of touch in VR."

Neuroscientist David Eagleman, co-founder of NeoSensory, said, "When we feel the touch of another person, or the wall we're running into, or raindrops hitting us, the realism of VR becomes even more compelling. We are thrilled to be collaborating with High Fidelity to bring this feedback into VR experiences."

Rosedale noted that High Fidelity's mission is to build the platform to enable one billion people in VR. "We are very excited to extend our product leadership into making VR a better experience," he said.

The exoskin is available for order from the NeoSensory website. For advanced users, the exoskin can be controlled with JavaScript in High Fidelity, allowing developers to add features such as sensing people at a distance, signaling directions or conveying tension as part of an in-world experience. For example, the exoskin can pulse during an in-world chase similar to the way a game console controller might rumble at key moments.

About High Fidelity
High Fidelity distributes an open source, scalable platform to create 3D virtual worlds. Performers, educators, makers, entrepreneurs and brands can create and host their own social VR experiences. Visitors can take their avatar between virtual worlds with a consistent identity. High Fidelity ensures content rights and ownership with a federated digital asset registry based on blockchain, and powers an economy with its own cryptocurrency, the High Fidelity Coin. Based in San Francisco, High Fidelity was founded by Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life, and is backed by investors including Breyer Capital, GV, HTC, IDG Capital Partners, Kapor Capital, Linden Lab, True Ventures and Vulcan Capital.

About NeoSensory
NeoSensory uses haptics to expand human perception. NeoSensory's wearable devices take information and translate it into patterns of vibrations. The company has products ranging from a wristband for the deaf to VR suits, and their haptic jacket is featured in Season 2 of HBO's Westworld. Based in Palo Alto, NeoSensory was co-founded by neuroscientists Dr. David Eagleman and Dr. Scott Novich. The company launched at TED in 2015 when Eagleman gave his popular talk: Can we create new senses for humans?

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SOURCE High Fidelity

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