Virtual Reality Now Gets Your Muscles Involved

Apr 18, 2017 at 2:24 PM ET

New virtual reality technology puts your muscles to work. Researchers at the Hasso-Plattner Institute designed a system to simulate walls or heavy objects in VR. Users are equipped with a muscle stimulator and electrodes attached to the forearms and biceps. When they touch or lift a virtual object, a mild, brief shock is applied, tensing the activated muscle and creating the feeling of a counter-force. Different muscles are activated when “touching” a wall than when “lifting” a cube. Researchers are just at the beginning of developing this more realistic sense of “feeling” in the VR world.