Teslasuit, the full body haptic ‘skin’ which uses an ‘electro-tactile’ feedback system to give the wearer sensations of touch, force and even warmth, has now hit Kickstarter but, perhaps predictably, it ain’t cheap!

We told you yesterday that UK based Tesla Studios were approaching the end of a 3 year R&D cycle and preparing to launch their ‘revolutionary’ haptic full-body suit via the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform. The ‘smart textiles’ used in Teslasuit is capable of transferring feedback from a virtual world through the use of electrical pulses direct to the skin.

Tsuit_v2_jacket_02The Teslasuit uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), to transmit sensations directly to the wearers body via electric pulses. You may already be familiar with the technology if ever you’ve had athletic therapy or indeed used a TENS machine for pain relief.

Teslasuit Kickstarter

The Tesla Studios folks claim to have taken this base tech and enhanced it for use in virtual reality applications. They claim the suit is capable of producing feedback spanning everything from full body hugs, to the impact of bullets and explosions (albeit hopefully not quite as painful or life threatening). Not only that, the suit can apparently simulate climate changes in the VR environment, warning the wearer to a claimed 30 degrees.

Tsuit_v2_09

The textiles used in the suit are woven with conductive thread, layers with waterproof neoprene which, somewhat amazingly, makes the suit itself water proof and fully washable.

SEE ALSO
Hardlight VR Haptic Vest Gets Significant Price Cut, Torso & Arm Tracking Demonstrated

See Also: ‘Teslasuit’ is a Tactile Skin that Lets You Feel VR, Kickstarter Jan 1st

The suit is ‘powered’ via a central unit (the T-Belt). This central unit is then aided by bolt-on co-processors for Motion, Climate control and Haptics, check the link above for more a closer look at those units. The central processing unit apparently connects wirelessly to your PC – we’re trying to find precise details on how this works.

The main processsing unit for Teslasuit, running the proprietary TeslaOS
The main processsing unit for Teslasuit

So, how much will this cutting-edge jumpsuit cost you? As ever with these things, you get what you pay for. To that end, there are two ‘tiers’ of Teslasuit sporting different levels of granularity in terms of body location for effects. Tesla Studios call these ‘channels’. If you opt for the lower cost ‘Pioneer’ version (starting at £1199), the full suit will deliver up to 30 channels of feedback, with the top-flight ‘Prodigy’ tier (£2099) offering up to 52 channels. One other note: if you want that awesome sounding climate control – you need to opt for Prodigy.

However, as the suit is made up of jacket and trousers, you can also opt for either piece at a lower cost. A single ‘Pioneer’ tier jacket will set you back £799 with the trousers £749. All of the above options include the processing boxes required to run the suit.

We’ll be digging a little deeper soon on this intriguing wearable, so stay tuned.

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  • Steve B

    Still very curious to see how this goes. Unless it gets adopted by one of the bigger VR brands, I doubt that there will be a great amount of fluidity between AAA VR developers and Teslasuit. Also, it seems like developers would really have to go out of their way to add support for Teslasuit. Hoping for the best, and looking forward to updates on this!

    • Full Name

      It also does not sound like it provides feedback to software about positioning. Ideally, it should do that as well. Then games could accurately describe the position of your entire body at any given time. Maybe they should join forces with Valve/HTC and their Lighthouse technology.

      • Steve B

        That would be incredible. I imagine SteamVR would be more likely to get on board with Teslasuit since Oculus/Facebook is more interested in communication than near-realism VR devices.

  • Mik Lisiecki

    This is a brilliant product and I would love to own one in the future. The market is still minuscule and many people lack the foresight and imagination to understand the potential of such a product.

  • Nick M.
  • Patrick Menzies

    Did anyone buy one?

  • Rob Dean

    I bought the Hardlight Suit and it was the biggest mistake I had ever made. 1st, they said after I ordered it that it will be shipped out in about 5-6 months, (wrong) I got it almost 2 years later. 2nd, they said they had lots of games for the suite. ( I got one that it works for game). They also said that for a little more money they will get you the Wireless model added to the suit. (Never got it, and I don’t expect to get it.) The last thing they are selling it for a lot less then the people who actually back them. So now my Suit is in the closet.

    Now they are saying that they don’t have enough money to finish the project and needing more money. With no costumer service number and if you email them they respond with a very poor email.

    I think next time I plan to buy a suit it will be in the stores and heck for all my trouble I rather pay retail.

    I am very disappointed with this company.