has a write-up on surround haptics technology being demonstrated by Disney Research, Pittsburgh at SIGGRAPH 2011
. Here's a bit:
“Although we have only implemented surround haptics with a gaming chair to date, the technology can be easily embedded into clothing, gloves, sports equipment and mobile computing devices,” said Ivan Poupyrev, senior research scientist at DRP, who invented and developed surround haptics with Ali Israr, also of DRP. “This technology has the capability of enhancing the perception of flying or falling, of shrinking or growing, of feeling bugs creeping on your skin. The possibilities are endless.”
Compared to today’s physical feedback devices, the actuators do not feature the “buzzing” that is typical for cellphones or game controllers, the researchers said. Surround haptics supports virtual actuators, which enables devices to simulate a more constant feeling such as a spider walking up your body or a finger tracing a pattern on your skin. DRP also believes that the technology has an application field to provide new tactile means of communication for the blind, emergency workers, vehicle operators, athletes and others.