Video Game Vest Simulates Sensation of Being Capped

Posted on October 26, 2007 

Video Game Vest Simulates Sensation of Being Capped

First-person shooter video games have become immensely popular because of their ability to let players mercilessly mow down digital foes from the comfort of an easy chair. When a new breed of video game technology hits the market next month, the machines will have their day as their flesh and blood opponents gain the ability to feel the impact of bullets, explosions and other blows by donning a specially designed vest rigged with pneumatic actuators and microcompressors.

The 3rdSpace Vest developed by Redmond, Wash.–based TN Games looks like the bulletproof flak jackets worn by police officers. Rather than block bullets, however, the vest is designed to simulate the feeling of being shot. Each features eight impact points—four in the front and four in the back—that use a system of pneumatic actuators and microcompressors to deliver a blow of 30 pounds per square inch, or psi (2.1 kilograms per square centimeter).

The force of the sensors embedded in the vests “is enough to make a game fun and interesting, but it’s not going to hurt people,” says Mark Ombrellaro, a vascular surgeon who formed TN Games and its parent company, TouchNetworks, Inc.

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