Mouth Haptics for VR developed to unlock and experience kissing and licking in the Metaverse

The Virtual Reality experience is currently limited to users’ eyes, ears, hands, and feet. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group are developing mouth haptics to extend the VR experience to include the mouth. The new technology promises to enhance the VR experience by indulging senses and experiences tied to the mouth such as kissing, licking, drinking, and so on.

The Metaverse experience is about to get a lot more immersive and interactive with a new set of hardware that mounts on the new generation of VR headsets. The system utilizes an array of ultrasonic transducers that transmit acoustic energy to a user’s mouth to mimic oral sensations.

The mouth haptics system does not actually physically interact with the mouth or lips by touching the area. Instead, the transducers send out ultrasound impulses to mimic the actions that the mouth area can interpret. Actions such as one tap, pulses, swipes, or even vibrations on the teeth, tongue as well as lips can be felt and experienced as kissing, licking, smacking, drinking, and so on.

The video demonstrating the new technology highlights additional actions such as smoking, brushing teeth, and even the steady stream of air that blows across the face while riding a motorcycle. Needless to mention, this is a nascent technology, and it would be up to the Metaverse and game developers to create scenarios that take advantage of the same.

The researchers at the university working on the technology claim the mouth is a close second in tactile sensitivity to the fingertips. This offered them a unique opportunity to add fine-grained haptic effects. There have been several attempts in the past to offer mouth haptics, but the majority have relied on physically interacting with the mouth. This could be the first system that delivers the experience without actually touching the mouth.

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