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I was shocked by this haptic shirt at CES, but I’m not sure I disliked it

At CES 2023, the only two things that might make me brave a shocking haptic shirt are you and technology.

At CES, I stopped by OWO and tried out their new haptic sleeves, which helped them win an innovation award. Those considerably less extreme wearables weren’t ready for testing, so maybe I shouldn’t have been startled. Instead, OWO was prepared with its second-skin haptic garment, which is just a Lycra t-shirt with wires cleverly sewed into it.

The CEO of the company, Jose Fuertes, told me that pressure-based haptics are not supported by the shirt. Instead, it sends weak electrical pulses through your body to your abdominal, back, arm, and chest muscles to mimic a variety of real-world physical reactions. Most of the big game developers are in negotiations with the business to licence the technology.

A gunshot entering your stomach and leaving your back would be felt through the shirt even if you wore a thick one. Shotgun recoil was palpable. This was the assurance given by Fuertes.

The OWO staff showed me to a changing room where I could undress in private. In order to function, the shirt’s very tacky electrodes must make direct contact with the skin.

They took my chest measurements, however the second skin felt quite constricting. They recommended that I choose one that fits snugly. I wrestled with the front zipper until I got it open. Then an OWO employee zipped up the sleeves and tucked a rather cumbersome battery pack into a compartment on my torso.

The shirt provides a sensory algorithm and nine electrical wave characteristics. This implies that the intensity of the various haptic effects may be adjusted to suit your preferences.

I watched as the OWO representative used the Bluetooth-enabled software to set the appropriate sensitivity levels for each muscle and kind of feeling.