Virtual Reality Technology 8: Aireal Tactile Feedback Device

Disney’s Aireal is the latest addition to the ever-growing virtual reality family. This device will attempt to bridge the gap between what we see onscreen and what we feel in real life. With the use of the Aireal, we’ll be able to receive haptic feedback from virtual objects, and it’s pretty impressive to see.

The Aireal is a low cost device that can be made almost entirely through 3D printing. It works by emitting quick bursts of air in the form of vortex rings at determined points of virtual contact, making it feel like you’re actually touching something. The video below shows an Aireal device connected to an Xbox Kinect and explains how this little device will add a new dimension to interactive gaming. They also show how the Aireal can be used for gesture control on touchscreen devices.

A new device, not yet on the market, called the ARAIG suit is attempting something similar by allowing your chest and arms to feel haptic feedback during action games. This device is providing something a little similar, for your entire body. For a fully interactive experience, you’ll most likely need multiple Aireal devices spread out around you, but as they’re not very expensive to make, this may be feasible. We’ll be waiting to hear more about this surreal new device.