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Force feedback the same as vibration.


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#1 gasto   Members   -  Reputation: 254

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:46 PM

Microsoft's SideWinder Force Feedback Pro seemed to announce a force feedback feature that seemed to move the joystick, this goes beyond vibration. How come Playstation and Xbox controllers announce force feedback as only the vibration feature?
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#2 fastcall22   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4456

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:03 PM

Because marketing.

Haptic technology ("force feedback") encompasses both physical resistance and vibrations.
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#3 gasto   Members   -  Reputation: 254

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:40 PM

Ah, just as I initially thought.
Physical resistance is not found in joypads(or is it available in recent consoles?), but very popular in racing wheels and joysticks.
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#4 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22697

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 12:05 AM


Physical resistance is not found in joypads(or is it available in recent consoles?), but very popular in racing wheels and joysticks.

... and in flight yokes, and in haptic styluses, and in spaceballs (not the movie) and in every other force feedback device.

 

Vibration is about the minimal you can do. 

 

Adding some resistance, basically making it harder to push, is very common.

 

Actually pushing back, applying a real level of force against the user, is much less common but extremely effective. Flight yokes in particular can be used to push rather hard before the safety switches come on. 

 

Force feedback is about far more than just rumble packs.  Games started to go into real force feedback. In the late 1990's there were some real concerns when force feedback wheels and yokes applied enough force to potentially hurt the player  It is one thing to have a car skidding out of control vibrate a little. It is quite another when the controller becomes violent enough to cause bruising. Some of those wheels could push back extremely hard. Due to costs, risks, time, and other factors, the industry devolved away from force feedback back down to simpler rumble packs.

 

Outside of games, the medical field relies on haptic interfaces. Having a stylus probe that you can push against a virtual heart muscle is cool. Having the probe get pushed around, fight back when you push in, and even push away when the virtual heart would push against the 3D cursor is far better.

 

At one point I was able to play around with some 3D haptic devices for exactly that. The program simulated a heart and some other organs, and you could manipulate them with a 3D stylus. I was told the simulation was extremely accurate physically and was used along with cadavers in surgical training. One stylus mode included a blunt probe that could be pushed and shoved into virtual tissue with considerable resistance, and even shoved back by muscle. I managed to crash their program when I got forceful with an eyeball, I was told it was probably enough force to rupture a physical eyeball. Gently stroking the eyeball with the stylus I could feel the texture of blood vessels, and I could set the cursor on the eye and the 3D armature would hold it up, just as though I was balancing it on a table or other surface.

 

Another stylus mode was a scalpel. There were several knives to choose from, but I have no idea about the differences. You could slice through tissue, or stab into tissue, or even rotate the stylus so the blunt side of the knife pushed against the tissue. It felt odd to slice through a heart that was beating, with the stylus pushing back and forth in each beat. That virtual heart was quite strong and could push back hard against the stylus, but I assume a real heart is also pretty buff. Slicing into lungs with the stylus it really felt like I could imagine a knife going through little air sacks. You could gently press and feel resistance come and go as you passed through openings in the tissues, along with the larger motions of the lung breathing. 

 

Games don't really use force feedback any more. If you are interested in it (and I don't blame you, it is cool) I would recommend medical simulations instead.


Edited by frob, 09 May 2014 - 12:22 AM.

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#5 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31798

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 12:40 AM

Racing and flight games definitely still use it on wheels and joysticks that support it. My racing wheel at home is pretty violent if you turn it up to full strength (out of the box, Logitech only have it configured to 50% strength).

 

The Xbone has added some advanced rumble/vibration features, where the triggers can be vibrated individually, as well as being able to vibrate the whole controller.

 

The Steambox controller has some fancy haptic hardware underneath it's touchpads. From what I can gather, they can not just "rumble", but can make it feel like there are ridges of any kind of shape on the surface, among other things.



#6 gasto   Members   -  Reputation: 254

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

What comes closest to a medical stylus and that is affordable(~$300) is Novint's Falcon and there is a lot of support for many games. It is a shame that it isn't as famous as steering wheels or joysticks.

Edited by gasto, 09 May 2014 - 08:46 AM.

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