#108: Kyle Monti on HapTech’s Haptic Peripherals for VR

Kyle Monti talks about HapTech’s Haptic Peripherals for VR. They have a patent for electronic recoil for haptic feedback using linear motors, and they’re creating a generalized haptic device to be able to simulate everything from pool sticks, baseball bats to tennis racquets.

They were showing off a gun system in a really fun arcade-style robot shooter game at GDC. Having haptic feedback in sync with a positionally tracked object does an incredible job of increasing the sense of presence within VR. They were using the STEM controllers with their demo that was created by Otherworld Interactive.

One of the iterative innovations that came from the GDC experience is that HapTech modified their demo so that the person who was next standing in line could spawn and control the robots attacking the user in the demo. It was a great way to engage and involve the people watching the person in VR, but a human-controlled enemy was also able to do things that would be a lot more difficult to program for.

Kyle also talks about some of the more military-grade haptic weapons that they are involved with helping to create with his DEKKA technologies. They license out the patented recoil system so that they can focus on the haptic technology portion, but also so that they can invest more energy into VR gaming rather than virtual military training equipment. So HapTech is an interesting company in that the founders have a foot in each world.

HapTech was one of the more immersive VR experiences and demos that I got to try out at GDC, and so keep an eye out for their upcoming SDK and information for how to get more involved with creating experiences for their generalized haptic technologies.

Here’s Road to VR’s write-up and video on HapTech:

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

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