Haptics, or at the very least the sense of touch, is a huge area for exploration in virtual reality right now. This project isn’t brand new, but I just got introduced to it recently and found it very interesting. The Nyoibo arm attaches to the front of a VR controller, and, when it transforms, the system can dynamically change the feel of the item in your hand. The video showcases a few examples of different types of items that would feel different in the hand, and I suspect the result is quite convincing.
There are obvious drawbacks of course. If you’ve played in virtual reality much, you probably already know that in many cases, this would be smashed to smithereens on a wall within the first few minutes of gameplay. We need bigger VR areas!
One incredibly cool aspect about this arm is that it can be done relatively easily at home. The creator says you can message him to get the plugin, and the hardware is just a few servos!