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Kajimoto Laboratory

As one of our most under appreciated yet useful senses, touch has been a tricky experience to simulate realistically in immersive environments and VR simulations.  Most attempts to increase tactile presence (how real a situation feels to you) in simulations involve general vibrations across our skin such as the commercial N64’s Rumble Pak, force-feedback haptic devices like SensAble’s PHANTOM Omni or Novint’s Falcon, and shear forces (the sensation on your skin as an object’s surface runs along it) like some of the research conducted in the Kajimoto Laboratory.

Kaji-Lab has done extensive research in haptic and multimodal interfaces since 2006.  What I find most intriguing about this lab is their drive to study and virtually replicate a variety of interactions, including the sensations of tele-present kissing…

and simulated “bassari” (feeling of being cut by a sword)…

I haven’t heard any other news about the kissing machine, but the bassari research seems to have undergone a newer iteration as demonstrated in this article.

While some may be skeptical about these particular ideas, it is this kind of work that paves the way for improving our immersive technologies and experiences.  For more information about the Kajimoto Laboratory and their work, please check out their website here:

http://kaji-lab.jp/en/index.php?FrontPage

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A virtual Reality and converging technologies conference located in France (March 28 – April 1 2012).  If you’re interested in VR or related fields, this is definitely the event to attend to get a feel for what’s cutting edge in industry and research.

As for logistics, The conference begins March 28th for professionals and opens up to the general public on March 31st and April 1st.  Major VR R&D companies like Mechdyne Corporation, Disney Research, and NVIDIA will be attending this year.  More information can be found at laval-virtual.org, but be warned that the site is predominately in French with limited English translations scattered about!