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D-BOX & LAI Games: Revolutionizing Attractions Through Haptics

November 30, 2022

We recently attended the 2022 edition of IAAPA in Orlando, Florida with our partner LAI Games, who brought along their all-new Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride Ultra HD!

 

Featuring the latest generation our world-renowned high-fidelity haptic feedback, this tune up on their classic unattended attraction features a 5k resolution, a wider field of view, six different experiences, improved visuals and augmented haptic cues, which is proven to significantly reduce motion sickness.

 

The Big Ride Ultra HD wow-ed IAAPA attendees with its replayability potential and immersion, but some attendees were curious as to how exactly haptic feedback contributes to attractions like these and why D-BOX’s haptics in particular are proven to prevent the ever-feared nausea.

 

To answer these questions, we went to our Director of Commercial Sales, Nicolas Fournier, to learn all about haptic technology and attractions. Keep reading to get a glimpse into the key points of the discussion!

What is D-BOX and what is haptic technology?

Having been an ambassador of haptic technology for nearly 25 years, D-BOX is on a mission to change the way entertainment is experienced in 6 primary business sectors: the theatrical industry, the gaming industry, the sim racing industry, the simulation & training industry, the home entertainment industry and the attractions industry.

However, to understand how we do this through haptic technology, one must first understand what haptics are—and it can be quite the complex concept!

The short version is that haptics refers to any time you use the sense of touch to reproduce a sensation in a virtual environment—allowing you to feel as if you are interacting directly with physical objects, without it being the case. If you’re wearing a haptic glove, for example, and pick up an apple in a VR game, you will feel as though you are holding a real, physical apple in your hand.

How does haptic technology work?

Without getting too technical, there’s both a mechanical component and a software component to haptic technology.

Whether the haptic experience is taking place in a seat, ride or simulator, all of these types of machinery will use the same piece of hardware called an actuator. Because of how actuators are built, they have the power to create full movement or displacement, as well as vibrations. The vibrations are crucial since they can replicate a wide array of situations!

The real magic however comes from the precise haptic cueing, which is customized by D-BOX to each content and experience. Whether it be a blockbuster movie, a Rabbids ride short film or a planetarium documentary, all of these experiences are manually encoded by our team of experienced haptic designers to ensure that each movement, vibration and more are perfectly synchronized to the action on-screen. D-BOX’s haptic feedback is far from a randomized set of one-size-fits-none effects!

Haptic technology is also one of the main components that creates a fully immersive VR experience. Some say that seeing is believing, but the reality is that feeling is believing.

Won’t haptic feedback make users feel sick?

Haptics are essential in order to replicate a fully immersive VR environment and if done incorrectly, then the user may be prone to motion sickness.

While science is not yet settled on the exact cause, the leading hypothesis is that motion sickness in virtual reality settings occurs when there is perceived movement in the VR, but the user does not feel displacement. This is why some people feel nauseous while reading in a moving vehicle.

How does D-BOX’s haptic technology work to prevent motion sickness in attractions such as The Big Ride?

The trick is that D-BOX adds such extremely realistic haptic feedback that it makes the brain think that it’s moving, even though the user remains static.

By having our haptic designers hand-encode each movement and vibration to be in perfect synchronization with the entertainment, it removes the body & mind disconnect that creates the nausea in the first place!

You don’t just have to take it from us—the simulation and training industry is peppered with studies intended to specifically understand the impacts of haptics coupled with VR. D-BOX has also partnered with a research center affiliated with the Université de Montréal, which has repeatedly demonstrated that D-BOX’s haptic feedback has a positive impact on motion sickness reduction.

 

A world of haptic attractions awaits

By reducing motion sickness and increasing replayability through ultra realistic haptic feedback, haptic technology opens up a whole new world of possibilities for interactive attractions.

If you would like to learn more about how D-BOX haptic technology can help you move your attractions business, then feel free to contact Nicolas today!

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