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Sensory Trick Makes Objects Seem Heavy or Light in VR

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The system tricks the user’s brain into relying more on the visual information they are receiving than the sensation of the position of their limbs.

Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock​

Vibrating pads on people's arms can support a more convincing illusion of weight in virtual reality (VR) by fooling the brain into ignoring certain sensory input.

Yutaro Hirao and colleagues at Japan's University of Tokyo placed vibrating motors above tendons in the arm to add noise to signals from sensors called proprioceptors, causing the brain to rely more on visual information communicated by VR.

An experiment simulated different weights by changing the variance between the users' hand movements and the virtual objects they were manipulating.

The researchers observed that adding tendon vibration gave the illusion greater persistence.

"The brain starts to feel like 'oh, the haptic information is now useless, so let's rely more on visual information to make the final decision to define our perception'," Hirao explained.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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