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Human Interaction in Virtual Environments Lab
Department of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
The TactaVest and C4

These images were taken in May 2006. They show the TactaVest we invented and integrated into the C4 Engine which we modified to provide collision cues when the player bumps into virtual objects.

The TactaVest is an upper-body garment that has 16 pager motors (a.k.a. tactors) distributed at potential points of contact, such as the elbows, shoulders, and back. The intensity level of each tactor can be controlled independently over 200 levels of vibration. The TactaVest communicates with the rendering computer using Bluetooth.

The position of the contact in relation to the player's current view is used to trigger different tactors, and the force of the contact is used to control the intensity of the vibration.

The player wears a head-mounted display (HMD) with a built-in orientation tracker that is used to control the player's view. Movement is accomplished using a Belkin Nostromo n52 SpeedPad that has been modified so that it can be worn on the hip. Movement is performed using the WASD keys on the SpeedPad, and other keys are used to perform other tasks, like firing a weapon. The cables are from the HMD and the SpeedPad.

Incorporating the TactaVest code into C4 took about 3 days.


[ Click to see a larger image ]
1. The player wearing the TactaVest, HMD, and SpeedPad.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 399 KB)
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2. The player wearing the TactaVest, HMD, and SpeedPad.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 359 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
3. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 380 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
4. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 372 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
5. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 346 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
6. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 383 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
7. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 382 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
8. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 369 KB)
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9. A close-up.
(05/25/2006)
(900x675, 378 KB)
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10. A close-up.
(05/25/2006)
(900x675, 380 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
11. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 382 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
12. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 395 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
13. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 403 KB)
[ Click to see a larger image ]
14. A view of the player from the back.
(05/25/2006)
(675x900, 391 KB)
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15. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(900x675, 86 KB)
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16. The player interacting with the C4 world.
(05/25/2006)
(900x675, 88 KB)


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We thank the following companies for their support:
[qnx] [ati]
[nvidia] [ageia]