Facebook Builds Prototype VR Bangle

Facebook Builds Prototype VR Bangle
The Tsabi haptic bangle reportedly makes wearers feel they are touching objects in cyberspace.

(CCM) — Facebook's Reality Labs may have found a novel solution to the problem of how to let people exploring virtual reality feel that they are touching things, according to an Engadget report.

The team has come up with a prototype device called Tsabi: a haptic bangle which is worn around the wrist like a smartwatch, and which is capable of generating squeezes and vibrations designed to let wearers "feel" what they are doing in cyberspace.

It is intended that users wear one Tsabi on each wrist, allowing them to experience the devices' movements whenever they pick up objects, push buttons, or touch surfaces, according to the report. Even though the Tsabi does not touch users' fingers, it has been designed to trick wearers into thinking that they experience sensations in their fingertips, the report says. Facebook is planning to publish its research paper about the way the Tsabi works in the near future.

The device does not do its own motion tracking, so the prototype has to be used in conjunction with a computer vision sensor.

Until now the only way to experience touch sensations in virtual reality applications has been to use a more cumbersome virtual reality glove.

Image: © Facebook.