RNI Demonstrates HitBox Haptics Systems

Posted on May 15, 2013

Under recent efforts with the US Army RDECOM STTC RNI has built and demonstrated a real-time Haptics system and integration with the Unity3D game engine through RNI’s Game Distributed Interactive System (GDIS) technology.  The system provides both an “initial bang” sensation to simulate a gun-shot wound along with a “Persisting Pain” sensation that throbs the localized area on the body until treated or healed.  In addition to the enhanced immersion, the system further enhances the use of Game Based Simulation systems in Medical and Combat Medic (TC3) application.

The HitBox Haptics system is real-time and integrates with the Avatar in a multiplayer environment.  Communications to the system are based on network messages to a special stimulator worn by the immersed (or desktop) player.  The initial prototype developed by RNI was based on body-located sensors (stimulators) which are driven by the custom driver and integrated into a standard “under-armor” shirt that is worn by the player.

The level of stimulation is fully adjustable along with the sensation types (Bang vs Persisting Pain) algorithms.   Algorithms for “kill shot” sensations and extension of the system to the full body are currently under development at RNI.  The upper body system is very low cost and uses mature  stimulator technologies which have been approved for use to the general public by the United States.

The primary intent of the HitBox Haptics system is to provide more realism to immersed players during training exercises and the necessary negative feedback associated with bad decisions in a hostile environment.  The system demonstrated these improvements along with reduced capability to function in the training simulation when the stimulator was active.  The perceived latency was very small (un-noticeable) between the visual indication of a gun shot in the simulation environment (GDIS-Unity) and the initial bang sensation.  The HitBox Haptics system can also be used as an extension to current RNI VIKENG technologies.


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