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Force Feedback Helmet Lets You Feel Headshots

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 13 comments

Immersion in gaming is something developers have sought to accomplish since the advent of 3-D graphics and advanced polygons. Tactile feedback is important for humans to identify with activities and situations.

Many companies, such as Immersion, use haptic feedback in video game controllers to convey a sense of inclusion. While other companies like TN Games, develops more radical equipment to enhance “the realism of entertainment media through advanced sensory experiences.”

TN Games recently announced that it is developing a force-feedback helmet that will function with their already released 3rd Space Gaming Vest. The HTX helmet is designed to deliver “blows to the head when you are fired upon.” TN Games promises players a level of immersion in their games never before felt. The ability to feel bullets whiz by your head or the feeling of a “headshot” would certainly bring a new level of fear to your games.

The technology behind TN Game’s force feedback products is a small air compressor system that inflates/deflates air pockets inside the gaming gear that delivers up to five pounds of force per actuator. According to TN Games, five pounds of force feels similar to dropping a roll of pennies six inches above your stomach. Each actuator is capable of independent firing rates and force. The specifics are being controlled via TN’s proprietary software drivers in conjunction with supported games.

TN Games insists that the Gaming Vest and the HTX Helmet are both safe, fun and poses no physical danger as long as it’s being used according to instructions. We are not sure if such level of immersion is necessary for you to fully enjoy a game of Call of Duty but if you are so inclined and prefer a side of pain to your entertainment, the 3rd Space Gaming Vest can be purchased directly from TN Games for $139.99 USD in three different styles and colors. The HTX Helmet is currently still in development but has an expected release sometime in 2009.

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  • 1 Hide
    malveaux , December 12, 2008 9:24 PM

    I'm totally stoked about the feedback HELM. So long as it's not frick'n $500, I'll try it out and look like a fool playing games, lol.

  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , December 13, 2008 12:28 AM
    I didnt know the vest was that cheap. I may buy it soon after Christmas.
  • 3 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , December 13, 2008 3:16 AM
    I'm genuinely conflicted on this one, guys.

    On the one hand, imagine what you'd look like sitting in front of your monitor, playing a game, WEARING A HELMET! ...yeah.
    On the other hand, it means we are -this- much closer to punching someone in the face over the internet.

  • 0 Hide
    cl_spdhax1 , December 13, 2008 7:01 AM
    good for trying to figure out where shots are coming from.
  • 2 Hide
    curnel_D , December 13, 2008 11:11 AM
    If you're getting hit in the head, I doubt you'll have time to gaze around for your attacker.
  • 1 Hide
    kamkal , December 13, 2008 3:51 PM
    wow this is retarded.
  • 1 Hide
    kamkal , December 13, 2008 3:57 PM
    head injuries will be on the rise lol
  • 0 Hide
    geof2001 , December 14, 2008 7:23 AM
    I can envision the news story now about how some idiot strapped this to his newborn infants head and has caused it irrepairable damage or even worse.
  • 0 Hide
    TemjinGold , December 14, 2008 5:32 PM
    Wouldn't it be cheaper and more... realistic to get a buddy to clock you in the noggin while you play every time you're supposed to get hit?
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 14, 2008 5:52 PM
    wow, a poor gamer will make full use of this. hehehe
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , December 15, 2008 12:57 PM
    Man: Hello, I want to... Ooooh!
    Spreaders (Terry Jones): No, no, no. Hold your head like this, then go Waaah. Try it again. (hits him on the head again)
    Man: uuuwwhh!!
    Spreaders: Better, Better, but Waah, Waah! Hold your hands here.
    Man: No.
    Spreaders: Now..
    Man: Waaaaah!!!
    Spreaders: Good, Good! That's it.
    Man: Stop hitting me!!
    Spreaders: What?
    Man: Stop hitting me!!
    Spreaders: Stop hitting you?
    Man: Yes!
    Spreaders: What'd you come here for?
    Man: I came here to complain.
    Spreaders: Oh no, that's next door. It's being-hit-on-the-head lessons in here.
    Man: What a stupid concept.
  • 1 Hide
    GrandAdmiralThrawn , December 15, 2008 4:12 PM
    Its an interesting Idea to try and make games more immersive, but I don't really want to get a head ache when I sit down to relax and play a game.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , December 16, 2008 10:51 AM
    I'm a bit worried that the helmet might be a tad too heavy or something, or poorly ventilated or otherwise obstruct one's 'gaming experience' by simply being cumbersome.
    I do like the idea though. All they need do is to make the helmet look like one of those cloth hats that the heroine consuming youth use, and it'll look no more silly than they already do.

    They should outfit the racing seat, that was built for the g25, with this compressor tech though, and one could have a much more realistic car gaming experience. Could even be used in those gaming halls you see in 80s movies - if any still exist that is.