LOS ANGELES — PrimaVR has announced the release of its new virtual reality application that lets audiences “feel” and interact with holographic videos.
According to the tech startup, its VR software is the first to provide haptic feedback for videos.
PrimaVR spokesperson Anton Bailey says that the new technology brings life to videos, explaining that by holding a VR controller, users can actually feel virtual performers, even sensing the model’s heartbeat through the controller’s subtle vibration, while poking the image results in a stronger feedback.
“This is [a] groundbreaking development in immersive entertainment,” Bailey says. “Sense of touch is the final frontier of virtual reality, and we have taken the initial steps to deliver tactile sensations via hologram video recordings.”
Bailey says that previously, VR videos were strictly passive experiences, where viewers could only observe events with their eyes and ears.
“Thanks to PrimaVR’s software development efforts, you can now enter inside a hologram video that is made tangible through consumer-grade virtual reality controllers,” Bailey explains. “It is easy to envision how such tactile holograms could be used in medical training and diagnostics, telepresence, and art.”
Bailey says that PrimaVR’s holograms also react to the user’s touch, so that pushing one’s hand against the model’s body displaces soft tissue, while a gentle slap “results in a visually pleasant jiggle.”
“We have combined these novel hologram features with traditional video controls,” Bailey notes. “You can fast forward and rewind as you please or pause the video and still keep interacting with the holograms.”
While the technology still has its limitations, where complex interactions such as shaking hands with the holographic actors are not yet possible, and the tactile properties of different hologram objects are not distinguishable, so that everything feels the same, regardless of the material, improvements are ongoing.
“We will keep pushing this technology forward,” Bailey concludes, “simply because hologram videos have such great potential.”
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