Woojer, the company behind the haptic belt Strap, launched a Kickstarter campaign late last month for a new haptic vest, dubbed Ryg. Initially targeting a $50,000 funding goal, the campaign has seen strong support, not only claiming successful funding in the first three hours, but also garnering over $270,000 when the campaign closed last Friday.
Update (October 29th, 2018): Woojer has closed its Ryg campaign successfully with a total of $274,524. Since the Kickstarter was treated mostly as a pre-order campaign, there weren’t any stretch goals as such. The device is said to ship to backers between November and December of 2018. Further pre-orders are being handled on the company’s IndieGogo page.
The original article detailing the campaign follows below:
Original Article (September 28th, 2018): Using Woojer’s patented oscillating frame actuators, called Osci, the company says Ryg is three times more powerful than their earlier haptic products, which include the haptic belt Strap, and a Kickstarter funded haptic unit using the same technology.
Wading past some of the hypetastic bro-speak that permeates the Kickstarter itself, it appears Ryg, presumably like its forebears, can turn in-game sounds into body shaking haptics out-of-the-box, sort of like a ‘buttkicker’ for your entire torso. Unlike the single-actuator units that came before it however, the vest itself packs in eight actuators that are said to provide “silent, harmonic and powerful tactile sensations.” Developers can tune the vest’s actuators with both Unity and Unreal SDKs for greater immersion in VR, as the vest can hypothetically simulate things like gunshots and raindrops, so not only sound-based haptics.
Connecting via Bluetooth, Ryg is said to last up to eight hours of playtime on a single charge, although it can draw current from additional battery packs for longer play sessions. An optional mounting bracket will also allow backpack-style PCs to integrate with the vest, something that location-based facilities tend to use in larger warehouse-scale VR environments.
Early backers of the Kickstarter campaign can receive a Ryg starting at $550, something the company says is around ~35% off the suggested retail price. Ryg is slated to arrive at some Kickstarter backers’ doors as early as November 2018, although the glut of backers will receive their units a month later.
You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here.