A brand new game controller which pulls and stretches the skin of its users’ thumbs has been revealed, the controller is said to mimic the recoil of a gun.Another function that can be felt is the motion of a boat on water which is described as being better than what could currently by achieved by a vibrating controller.
Developed by a Canadian team the new controller was revealed by engineers from the University of Utah in an effort to highlight the latest research into the sense of touch.
“In the centre of the thumbsticks there’s a little contact bud that is similar to what you have on a Thinkpad laptop – a little red dot,” Prof William Provancher from the university’s department of mechanical engineering told the BBC.
“In our case that dot moves, and when it moves it provides touch feedback which allows us to enhance sensations such as gunfire.
“The feeling is very similar to what you get if you place your finger down on a table top and drag it across – it stretches the skin. In this particular case the tugging on your skin is happening because of the motion-device mechanism beneath the thumbsticks.”
The BBC said researchers had built a library of five tactile effects: bounce, pulse, a circular movement, a wave effect and the feeling of crawling along the ground.
In addition they said the thumbsticks could be used to give directional cues drawing users’ attention to part of the gaming environment.