Cerevo is a startup looking to bring yet another layer of immersion to virtual reality by letting you "feel the virtual world." According to Gizmodo (opens in new tab), the Cerevo Taclim (opens in new tab) has both a pair of shoes and gloves with haptic feedback. Essentially, in your VR game you'll be able to feel the ground you're walking on and get a better sense of what you're touching.
Cerevo says the shoes bring you "the sense of wearing shoes worn by the virtual character," and the Taclim also works as an input device to actually control the character in the game. Not only will you supposedly be able to feel the likes of grassland, water, and sand beneath your feet, you'll also be able to "kick" things. If you've tried VR, you've probably had the urge to kick something over, despite the system really only tracking your head and hand motions. Cerevo says that with Taclim you can kick enemy characters, and feel their soft body or the hardness of their shield.
There are three tactile devices in each shoe, and one in each glove. There are two versions of Taclim, one with Sub-GHz, and the other with BLE data connection modules. Plus, the product's SDK will be provided as a Unity plugin, basic vibration patterns will be provided as sample data, and vibration data can be generated by importing .wav files.
But does it work? So far, addons for virtual reality have generally fallen flat barely out of the gate. For it to be successful, it'll need software support, and traditionally, only the peripheral creator makes software which supports their hardware. Gizmodo reports that while the sensation you receive from the shoes isn't totally realistic, it does go some way towards making you feel like you're walking somewhere else. Right now though, here are a couple of drawbacks.
This sensation comes at a price, as the Taclim will cost somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 for the shoes and gloves when it eventually launches. In addition, it's only available for Google VR right now, but the company says it is hoping to expand to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR soon. When it does branch out into the room scale VR market, Cerevo will have to get the shoes and gloves working with tracking sensors. Factor in the added price of the headset and the PC to run VR on, and all this immersion becomes a pricey endeavor. VR shoes and gloves seem expensive and unnecessary, but we can remain optimistic for now.