Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a jacket that can simulate sensations.
Disney has created a software-controlled jacket that can "simulate physical experiences, like a snake slithering across your body," said Thuy Ong at The Verge. The "force jacket" weighs roughly 5 pounds and was developed in conjunction with MIT Media Lab and Carnegie Mellon University. A computer controls airbags inside the jacket that inflate and deflate for different sensory experiences.
Disney envisions using the item with VR headsets to deliver more immersive experiences, including "a racing heartbeat, light or heavy rain, snowball hit to the chest, a hand tap on the shoulder, or slime dripping on your back." Because the early setup "is very bulky and confining for the user," researchers say they intend to continue with refinements before formally debuting it.