Heather Culbertson and her team at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have recently unveiled work on a new haptic armband designed to work with VR technology. Allowing for a sense of touch, the haptic armband doesn't simply vibrate like typical game controllers. Rather, it provides the sensation of fingers moving down a user's arm. The sensation has been described as pleasant and is being compared to a soft stroking sensation.
According to Culbertson, this sort of hardware is the main focus of her lab. Culbertson is working hard to leverage haptic technology in a way that allows users to mimic virtual sensations in the real world. The hope is that this technology will be used to improve social VR and can even help decrease depression or reduce stress.