Tactical Haptics, creators of the ‘Reactive Grip’ haptic technology have adapted their latest prototype for use with the Oculus Touch VR controllers.

Reactive Grip is a novel haptic feedback technology that’s unlike anything you’ll find in modern day controllers which by and large rely on ERM motors or linear actuators to provide a rumbling sensation. Rather than rumble, Reactive Grip uses sliding bars positioned around the controller’s handle which put pressure on your hands to simulate and object moving within them. For certain use-cases, the effect can be very convincing. This (now quite dated) video does a good job of showing how it works:

To show off their latest prototype, Tactical Haptics adapted it for the Oculus Touch controllers and took them to yesterday’s SVVR Meetup at the NVIDIA campus in Santa Clara, CA. There they let attendees try the controller and the latest demos. While the makeshift mounting makes the controller quite tall, Tactical Haptics founder Will Provancher says that it works quite well because of the Touch controller’s light weight.

oculus touch 2016 prototype hands on gdc (3)
See Also: Hands-on – Oculus Touch 2016 Prototype Brings Refinements to an Already Elegant Design

When I last had my hand on the Reactive Grip feedback, it was when the company had adapted their prototype for the HTC Vive controllers. It was then that I concluded, “Forced to choose between the two, I’d easily pick Reactive Grip over rumble, but ultimately the two complement one another, especially if the rumble comes from the more modern linear actuator approach which is great for subtle clicking and tapping effects as well as the usual ‘dumb’ rumble that we associate with the ERM motor rumble common in modern-day gamepads.”

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The end goal for Tactical Haptics is of course to have a single, sleek integrated controller that does both tracking and haptics in one, rather than having to mount a VR controller to the haptic controller. That should be possible once Oculus and Valve finally open up their tracking solutions to third parties, but at last check it seems both companies are content to take their time.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • delrael_death

    And Vive already has haptics out of the box..

    • Ned Hoon

      So will the Touch controllers this type of haptic feedback is a big step up tho much better results.

    • OkinKun

      LOL Not like this does.
      Vive and Touch have basically the same old motor-based “haptics”, which has gotten a lot better in recent years, but they still can’t do what Tactics Haptics can do.
      This almost feels like it’s simulating the weight of what your holding.. Or at least the forces that the weight would exert on the inside of your palms, if the weight was real. It’s really freaky.

    • TheMCPowerz

      Vive fanatic at its finest. Its not like they said Oculus Touch has rumble haptics out of the box like they stated a few 2 years ago. Its also not like they said this is an add-on for the Touch, but nope, just keep reading the title.

  • yag

    Ok, well I guess it’s better than nothing… Can’t wait to see an integrated design tho.