From bullet impacts to exit wounds, from a spider crawling on your shoulder to wind brushing against your skin, the OWO haptic shirt uses a series of ‘microsensations’ that combine together to make you feel different aspects of the game. Electrodes and sensors strategically placed all along the shirt and even in the arms help you get a truly immersive feeling while you game, and an app lets you calibrate the sensations to match exactly how intense or mild you want your haptic feedback.
“Unlike other haptics that use vibration to reproduce one sensation, OWO is the only company that can reproduce an infinite number of realistic physical sensations. And since each body is different, you can calibrate the sensations to make your experience unique,” say the folks behind the haptic shirt. “The result; a deep level of immersion you won’t find anywhere else.”
The OWO Haptic Shirt was revealed at CES this year as a means to make gaming more immersive. Wear the shirt and you don’t just see and hear the game, you experience it through the sense of touch too. The shirt’s design and its app help translate an entire library of games into different sensations. Moreover, you don’t just feel that odd buzzing sensation when you get shot, the folks at OWO were quick to point out that the shirt offers much more nuance than that. “A gunshot is composed of three microsensations: entry wound, exit wound, and bleeding,” the OWO website mentions. These microsensations come together to create a much more realistic experience that adds layers and depth to what you feel. The shirt offers much more than just being able to experience bullet wounds, though. You can feel everything from impact (a punch or a gunshot or even a dagger wound) to interactions (gun recoil to resistance while pushing objects) and even experiences (wind blowing, stress, etc.)
The shirt itself is a lightweight garment made of flexible lycra and available in up to 9 different sizes for both men and women. On the inside, it’s lined with 10 electrodes placed all across the torso and the arms that provide the haptic feedback through an entirely wireless experience thanks to Bluetooth 5.2. You’ve also got a USB-C port that lets you charge its built-in battery, which provides 8 hours worth of use on a full charge.
The OWO haptic shirt is just one step closer to a more immersive Ready Player One-inspired world where the lines of reality and virtuality are blurred. OWO is compatible with games on PC, mobile, console, and VR, and supports an entire roster of popular games including Fortnite, League of Legends, Valorant, CS GO, PUBG, and Beat Saber. You can wear the shirt while standing, or use it while sitting on a chair or even lounging on your couch. However, OWO recommends that people with pacemakers or metal implants in their torso shouldn’t use the haptic shirt under any circumstance.
Currently up for preorder, the shirts start at 399€ and come in three styles including a ‘founder’s edition’ that’s limited to 2000 units.