Microsoft’s Kinect provided gamers with a hands-free way to play their favourite titles. But when the controller was removed from the situation, so was the haptic force feedback that can enhance gameplay.
Most of us were OK with the tradeoff, but not the Imagineers at Disney Research, who have come up with a way to provide tactile force feedback using nothing but targeted puffs of air.
The Aireal system, as they’ve called it, works alongside a Kinect-equipped Xbox sending tiny high-speed vortexes of air towards the player that coincide with the action on screen. The air cannon has access to all of the Kinect’s 3D data too, so it’s able to continuously track and target the player no matter how active they get. And, more importantly, it paves the way for Kinect-controlled air conditioners that guarantee you’re always in the path of a chilly blast no matter where you are in a room.