New gadget will inflict physical pain on people in the metaverse

The tech uses electrical stimulation to manipulate arm muscles and mimic sensations – sometimes painful ones (Credits: Unsplash) 

A Japanese tech startup is looking to deliver physical pain to people in the metaverse.

So even though you’ll be playing in a make-believe virtual world, you can still get the experience of actual, real-world pain. Lovely.

H2L, a Sony-backed company, created an armband that can be used in tandem with the virtual reality headset to give feedback whilst users are plugged in to the metaverse. 

People will be able to feel the presence and weight of objects in the metaverse thanks to electrical stimulation delivered through the armband.

The band will also enable the user’s avatar in the metaverse to copy the body’s movements in real life. 

The electric impulses can mimic sensations such as catching a ball or a bird pecking at the skin. 

‘Feeling pain enables us to turn the metaverse world into a real [world], with increased feelings of presence and immersion,’ said Emi Tamaki, co-founder of the Tokyo-based company told the Financial Times.

The metaverse is going to start getting even more realisitic (Credits: H2L)

Tamaki is a researcher in haptic technologies, that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user.

She started working in haptics after she had a near-death experience in her late teens. 

When she was in hospital, the University of Tokyo PhD, came up with the idea for a technology that would allow physical experiences to be linked with computers. 

‘I realised life was precious so I decided to work on a new field that I really wanted to dig into, as there was no one doing research at the time,’ she said. 

Tamaki’s goal is to ‘release humans from any sort of constraint in terms of space, body and time’ by 2029.

The 10-year-old company is among a growing list of Japanese companies tapping into the blurring boundary between the real world and the metaverse.

Last year, Facebook rebranded its parent company as Meta to build products for this virtual reality world. Meta announced in November that it was developing a haptic vibrating glove.

MORE : Rihanna is going to start selling merch in the metaverse

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