Sense of touch for VR is arriving now, with attached hype

The news about VR touch is becoming a torrent of verbosity. We’re now talking about full body haptics, stable haptics, room-scale haptics and “much more”.

So what is this really all about, you ask sweetly from your bunker? Essentially it’s transferring an equivalent sense of touch to a VR object, at this point. This is another sensory interface, much like creating media for sight and sound.

The inevitable first frontier for haptic tech is of course gaming. The commercial buzz is unmistakeable and getting louder. This is big, and getting bigger on a daily basis. Haptics in some form are even coming to PlayStation controllers. Predictably enough, the theme is immersion, as though gamers weren’t immersed by definition.

(It’ll be interesting to see if lazy game developers and marketers do anything about making haptic games more reliable and less infuriating than current games. Crashes, no-saves, etc. are the usual fodder

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The science behind our sense of touch

European researchers have developed a new universal scaling law for the sense of touch, and it’s paving the way for an expansion of virtual reality technology.

“Touch is a primordial sense, as important to our ancient ancestors as it is to modern-day mammals, but it’s also one of the most complex and therefore least understood,” says lead researcher Tom Montenegro-Johnson from the University of Birmingham, UK.

“While we have universal laws to explain sight and hearing, for example, this is the first time that we’ve been able to explain touch in this way.” 

When a person slides a finger across a surface, vibrations travel through their skin and excite nerve endings. These convert the mechanical vibrations to electrical signals and transmit them to the brain, where they are interpreted as a tactile experience. This signal allows humans to differentiate between textures, detect contact, and manipulate objects.

“However, the properties of

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Common Sense Launches ‘Which Side of History?’ Campaign to Challenge Leaders to Reverse the Harm Tech Is Having on Democracy and Our Lives

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today Common Sense, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families in the digital world, launched Which Side of History?, a campaign to hold Big Tech accountable for sowing mistrust and spreading misinformation, threatening free and open societies, exacerbating the gap between rich and poor, creating an unequal society, and leaving an entire segment of the population behind.

Anchored by Common Sense founder and CEO James P. Steyer’s newest book, Which Side of History?: How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives (available October 13, 2020), the campaign convenes leading experts and Big Tech antagonists, such as Franklin Foer,Thomas Friedman, Shaun Harper, Julie Lythcott-Haims,Roger McNamee,Shoshana Zuboff, and others for a series of live virtual events to examine the impact of the tech sector on

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Google Pixel 5, Fitbit Sense, and Powerbeats Pro international giveaway!

It’s time for the Sunday giveaway, and we’re switching up the giveaway format. No longer will the Sunday giveaway be a weekly giveaway — it’s going monthly! There will be a new giveaway on the first Sunday of each month, but we’ll be giving away more prizes to multiple winners each giveaway, increasing your odds of winning. This month three lucky Android Authority readers having the chance to win some top tech!

A big congratulations to the winner of last week’s Samsung Galaxy S20 FE giveaway, Kyle G. from Colorado, USA.

This month we’re giving away a brand new Google Pixel 5, a Fitbit Sense, and a pair of Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds, brought to you by the DGiT Daily newsletter!

The DGiT Daily newsletter is a daily briefing focused on bringing you the best tech news and links to what’s happening all around the web. It doesn’t matter if

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Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense Are Getting a Very “Impactful” Update

If you got a Fitbit Sense or a Versa 3, you’re getting some new software.

If you got a Fitbit Sense or a Versa 3, you’re getting some new software.
Image: Fitbit

If you’re waiting for your new Fitbit Versa 3 or Sense, you’re in for some news. First of all, you’re probably going to get your device soon, as the company said it expects to start shipping at the end of September. And second, once you receive your device, you’ll find that it also comes with new software: Fitbit OS 5.0.

Spotted by 9to5Google, both the Versa 3 and the Sense will come pre-loaded with OS 5.0, which the company calls its “largest and most impactful smartwatch update” since 2017. In a blog published this week, Fitbit said that the new software included meaningful improvements to the watch interface, a new visual system, faster navigation and general usability improvements.

If you’re a Fitbit user, you’ll have to get used

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A multisensory graphene-based skin can sense in extreme environments where other sensors cannot be used

A fresh sense of possibility
The system has the resilience to withstand very harsh conditions, such as extreme temperatures, high salinity, varying pressure, intense radiation, reactive chemicals and/or high humidity. Credit: 2020 KAUST

Harsh environments that are inhospitable to existing technologies could now be monitored using sensors based on graphene. An intriguing form of carbon, graphene comprises layers of interconnected hexagonal rings of carbon atoms, a structure that yields unique electronic and physical properties with possibilities for many applications.


“Graphene has been projected as a miracle material for years now, but its application in harsh environmental conditions was unexplored,” says Sohail Shaikh, who has developed the new sensors, together with KAUST’s Muhammad Hussain.

“Existing sensor technologies operate in a very limited range of environmental conditions, failing or becoming unreliable if there is much deviation,” Shaikh adds.

The new robust sensor relies on changes in the electrical resistance of graphene in response to varying temperature, salinity

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