Microsoft's NormalTouch and TextureTouch Let Users Feel VR Objects

By: Joey Haar - Oct 18, 2016
References: mspoweruser & digitaltrends
VR as it currently exists is a visual medium, with VR headsets providing the entirety of the output, but Microsoft's new NormalTouch and TextureTouch VR systems add the sense of touch into VR experiences. The systems, which involve unique controllers, were developed by Microsoft Research, and they work in conjunction with an Oculus Rift DK2 and the OptiTrack.

The two systems each work to provide a different aspect of the sense of touch. NormalTouch provides force feedback, pushing against the user's appendage and precisely adjusting its angle to mimic the force of pressing against the VR object. TextureTouch, on the other hand, gives finer feedback that is meant to represent the texture of VR objects. The current prototypes can only give haptic feedback for the tip of one's index finger, though larger arrays are feasible.