3rd Space Vest Report
Virtual realism that packs literal impact.
Article by Valerie Hilgenfeldt (Email)
November 7th 2007, 07:45PM
Maybe you don't remember the Interactor. Manufactured by AuraSound in the 1990s, the device was meant to be a force-feedback "vest", but it wasn't. Instead, the hard plastic device was the aesthetic ancestor of the original Xbox. If you bothered to strap the beast to your back, and started playing a game, the lowest sound frequencies emitted would be transformed into vibrations. Compared to a normal subwoofer, it provided a slightly more immersing experience at the cost of being cumbersome.
Those who were nonetheless intrigued by such a device should take notice of TN Games' 3rd Space FPS Vest, which was most recently demoed at the E for All Expo. Instead of relying on sound frequencies or existing forms of feedback technology, it takes a much more effective approach: Pneumatic compression. Those two words may inspire thoughts of medical equipment, and there's a good reason: TN Games' CEO, Dr. Mark Ombrellaro, is a surgeon.
The vest was born of a novel concept that anyone can easily understand. Whenever you visit a doctor and complain about chest or abdominal pain, they'll often use their fingers to apply pressure to those areas and help them determine what's wrong. Unfortunately, a patient has to get to their doctor's office if they want that diagnosis done. Solution: Create an accurate sense-of-touch device that can be worn by a patient in their own home, allowing a doctor to remotely apply pressure to and diagnose any problems in the patient's body.