Tech blog: Video game controllers: the next generation

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Rumble packs on video game controllers made games feel a bit more real.  University of Utah mechanical engineering professor William Provancher has created a controller that takes the rumble pack to a whole new level.

In addition to the cell-phone like vibration within the controller, Provancher’s controller joysticks actually resist and move on the players thumbs according to the virtual environment the player finds him or herself in.  For example, if playing a shooting game, the joysticks will simulate a recoil feeling every time you fire the gun.

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The professor and some of the students involved went recently to present their design at the Haptics Symposium in Vancouver, a conference dedicated to the physical feedback between computers and human operators.

Provancher and others hope that the controller design will be popular because it will allow video gamers to further immerse themselves in the game, which was the point of the original rumble packs.  Hopefully the new technology will be implemented into the gaming industry in the next few years.

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