Summary of “Disney made a jacket to simulate physical experiences, like a snake slithering across your body”

Disney Research, MIT Media Lab, and Carnegie Mellon University have unveiled a new conceptual haptic “Force jacket” that simulates physical experiences to people wearing the device.
The force jacket is lined with airbags controlled by a computer that inflates and deflates the bags.
Disney envisions the jacket will be used with VR headsets for more immersive experiences, given its ability to simulate hugs, being hit or punched, and peculiarly, the sensation of a snake slithering across your body.
The jacket is made up of airbags with sensors attached that direct force and vibrations to specific locations on your body.
The software-controlled jacket weighs about five pounds and has a valve system that inflates and deflates 26 air compartments.
In their paper, researchers on the project from Disney, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon wrote: “At this stage of work, the goal is to develop core technology for the Force Jacket that will be sufficient for basic psychophysical assessment and to design and test an initial set of effects.” So far, those effects include: a racing heartbeat, light or heavy rain, snowball hit to the chest, a hand tap on the shoulder, slime dripping on your back, a bug crawling up your arm, and motorcycle vibrations.
The researchers built three VR apps in testing the jacket, including a snowball fight game, a simulation of a snake crawling around, and a simulation of “Growing muscles” – like turning into the Hulk.
The researchers believe with more development the jacket could be more viable in VR use.

The orginal article.