Controller Prototype Readied For Battle

Engineers at the University of Utah have devised a controller that pushes back on your thumbs to create a more realistic gaming experience.

by on 7th Mar, 2012

William Provancher, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, had this to say on the technology:  “I’m hoping we can get this into production when the next game consoles come out in a couple of years.” 

The way the controller works is thus: when cues in the video game happen, the controller responds by using two ‘tactors’, which are placed where the analog sticks on your average Dualshock would be. These tactors stretch and twist the skin on your thumbs so you are more immersed in the game’s ecosystem. It’s an interesting technology, really, and the possibilities are quite limitless. Imagine reloading in Call of Duty or running into a wall on Need for Speed – these activities would become vastly more representative of real life.

The controller has undergone in-house studies which prove that the technology is a viable option for today’s gamers. The studies Provancher and his associates have put the controller through show that gamers can handle it from any position and it works with most game genres.

“By placing skin-stretch feedback in a game controller, it creates a nice testing environment for understanding human perception and cognition,” says Provancher.

The innovative new controller currently has a patent pending. We’re looking forward to its future implications – what about you? Comment below!

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