Virtual reality has come a long way in the past few years. Headsets are becoming mainstream and great content is really taking off. But virtual reality needs to make things a bit more…you know, real. That’s where Hardlight VR comes in. The guys over at Nullspace VR have developed the Hardlight VR suit that allows haptic feedback to the users.
Simply put, when you’re hit by an object, you’ll feel it. When the ground begins to rumble, you’ll feel the vibrations. There are literally hundreds of situations where haptics can come in handy in an immersive environment and it is only natural that it is finally making its way to the VR landscape.
We sat down with John Schork, Director of Marketing of NullSpace VR, to discuss what the Hardlight system is and how it will impact the future of VR.
BC: What is the Hardlight Suit?
JS: The Hardlight Suit is a haptic feedback suit for virtual reality. It’s a comfortable, adjustable, lightweight jacket-like suit that lets users actually feel the experiences they’re interacting with in VR.
BC: Why would a VR user want to use the Hardlight haptic feedback suit?
JS: The biggest cornerstone in a successful VR experience is immersion. Users want to get lost in what they’re doing, and the suit allows for yet another layer of immersion on top of the visual and aural.
BC: Are there any situations where the Hardlight VR suit would not be appropriate?
JS: We haven’t encountered any yet!
BC: What does it take for a developer to integrate Hardlight into their game or system?
JS: In addition to the suit, we’ve also created a software development kit that makes it incredibly easy for developers to add haptic effects to their games. It comes with a library of thousands of pre-built effects, but also gives devs the freedom to create their own. We’ve had developers integrate their game in a matter of hours. We wanted to give them the freedom to do so quickly and efficiently or get as granular and creative as they want.
BC: How much does it cost for the Hardlight suit and when will it be available?
JS: The suit is $550 USD plus shipping. We unlocked a stretch goal in our Kickstarter campaign so using BackerKit, backers can add a wireless data/power module for an addition $99 USD. Suits are expected to reach backers in September.
BC: What is Nullspace VR doing to make Hardlight adopted among both developers and users?
JS: We’ve been focusing a lot on outreach and community. We’ve demoed to thousands of people all over the country and have been keeping in touch with a huge email list of fans and backers as well as making content for our social media feeds.
BC: What’s the future of development for your team? What do you anticipate making next or how are you looking into improving the system?
JS: We’re refining the software as well as some aspects of the suit design before everything must be locked for manufacturing so the end product is as tuned and optimized as possible. We have some other developments at the moment, but nothing public yet!
Bryan currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the International Moving Image Society (IMIS). Before coming to the UK in 2012, Bryan grew up in the mid-west US where he learned of his passion for telling interesting and inspiring stories. He has a desire to pass on the knowledge he has to anyone looking to further their skills or enter the industry.