A New York based company that is called Tactonic Technologies, have created a pressure-sensing floor mat that can be used in conjunction with head and hand movements with Occulus Rift, and Samsung’s Gear VR.
This is not the first attempt in pressure-sensing pads in the Virtual Realty component industry. Sensel, a pressure sensing startup is “making table-computer sized pads” theses pads are much smaller pick up a range within fingers and hand movements. Both Sensel and Tactonic have workers who worked previously with another company that was purchased by Amazon in 2010 that worked on pressure sensing touch-screens.
A New York University’s Media Research Computer science professor believes that the larger mat will less likely make some users feel sick. It just so happens to be that this professor is Ken Perlin, Tactonic Technologies’ chief scientific advisor.
Perlin, wants users to be able to think and move as they were in real time. Tactonic “plans to start offering a 24 by 18-inch mat and software” in April and June to its developers. He hopes that they will be able to think of ways the mats would best be used in virtual reality games. Also, these mats would be priced around the $200 range later this year, depending on the progress.
These pats hold hundreds of force plates that are placed a half-inch apart. Once pressure is applied, pressure-imaging data is gathered from the movement and place of pressure, it is sent to a computer that is attached to the mat by a USB cable. Software will then translate that into action sequences towards that specific game.
Perlin, hopes that this mat will help increase the virtual reality experience and even have non-virtual reality applications. These mats would be beneficial for dance industries, animation, physical therapy, and sports. As for now, the “VR is the best market”.