For anyone that's played one of the top three VR platforms of today, you know that there are points while playing certain games that it feels like it would be more natural to reach out and touch objects in the game world rather than manipulating them with a controller. Seattle-based VR start-up AxonVR looks to bring that dream into reality and has just completed a $5.8 million seed investment round, with former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo participating, to begin work on the project.
AxonVR calls their technology HaptX, and it allows users to touch virtual objects and feel their size, shape, weight, texture, and temperature. "We envision a world in which virtual experiences are indistinguishable from real life," stated AxonVR CEO Jake Rubin.
AxonVR won't see applications in VR home gaming first, though. The company is focusing on selling HaptX to design and manufacturing, training and simulation, and location-based entertainment to when production begins. This translates as: HaptX will initially be too expensive for a consumer-level customer base. However, Mark Kroese, president of AxomVR, says that the commercial applications of VR of limitless, so you can be sure that they're looking towards home gaming as a possible venue for the technology.
Eventually, AxonVR wants to branch their HaptX technology into a full exoskeleton that will suspend users and allow them to feel interaction in a virtual world at multiple points on their bodies. With more and more interest being poured into the world of entertainment-focused VR, HaptX certainly seems like the type of technology to propel the medium forward and someday tactile interface could come standard with gaming VR rigs.