We’ve come a long way in gaming input technology. From four button controllers, to the penis-crippling abominations of the N64, all the way to the input devices of today. No matter what the future holds, there’s always going to be one constant feature that gamers have come to expect in their controllers. Vibrations. Much like the neck massager hidden in your girlfriends draw, those vibrations are a grand feeling to expereince during a particularly engaging game. Although in the near future, electric shocks could be the next evolution in that interface.
German researchers have come up with a new way to apply some more intuitive feedback, by sciencing the hell out of a controller according to New Scientist via Destructoid. Regular controllers use small motors located in the palm grips to create a rumble sensation, but ze Germans have come up with a method that uses electrical muscle stimulation to create a unique sensation of touch.
"It creates a strong, painless contraction, in your palm flexor muscle, that makes you fight your phone" said Pedro Lopes at the Hasso Plattner Institute where the research is being conducted. The effectiveness of the device was tested on volunteers who controlled an aircraft in a strong wind simulation. These participants used both regular and electrical controllers to do so, with all of them saying that they preferred the ‘zap’ controller over the old school rumbles.
Talk about a shocking experience. Why, this sounds rather positively charged. Could be an electrifying situation. This story has a real zap to it. Okay, I’ll stop now. What do you think? Would you be willing to take a shock during a rather heated gameplay session, after your palms have become sweatier than a liar in court?