ScienceBlog reports engineers at the University of Utah have developed a prototype of a new video game controller that can tug at your thumb tips to simulate the recoil of a gun or the tug of a fishing line. Full details over here.
The latest game controller prototype looks like controllers for Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation but with an addition to the controller’s normal thumb joysticks, on which the thumbs are placed and moved in different directions to control the game. In the new controller, the middle of each ring-shaped thumb stick has a round, red “tactor” that looks like the eraser-head-shaped IBM TrackPoint or pointing stick now found on a number of laptop computer brands.
If a gamer’s avatar runs into a wall, the tactor under the thumb moves back to mimic impact. Both tactors can move from side to side to mimic ocean waves. And when a fish bites in one of the games the researchers tried, “as the fish jerks on the line, you can feel the tactor jerk under your thumb,” Provancher says.