We here at Gaming Trend have been fans of Woojer for a while, and we were incredibly excited to see them at E3. Best known for their haptic feedback wearable vest, also known as a Woojer, the company makes incredibly lightweight subwoofers which power location-specific haptic vests and straps. The technology is smaller and lighter than anything else on the market, but that does come with a rather high price of admission, $799 for the vest. The Woojer strap comes in at a much lower $250, but doesn’t deliver quite the same experience as the vest.
We were able to check out the new Edge Series, a haptic vest which will come with a lower price point. We strapped ourselves into what is proudly touted as the world’s most powerful and accurate, bone-shaking haptic technology to check out what it feels like to get haptic feedback with both video and taking in gameplay. The first thing I noticed was that the vest easily adjusted to both of us at the demo–that’s no easy thing. I am short, barely over five feet, with a very small torso. I’ve previously tried on haptic vests by other companies, and they did not sinch small enough, hanging loose on my body and massively watering down the experience. My friend, on the other hand, stands just an inch short of the six foot mark with a more sturdy frame, I found it quite impressive that we were both able to wear the same vest.
Once strapped in, the real fun began. A tyrannosaurus rex appeared on the TV screen, and thumped its way down a hall. My teeth rattled with each step, and I couldn’t help but grin when it bowed its head and roared right in my face. Equally grin-inducing was a clip from Deadpool; Ryan Reynolds voice may not have left me quaking when he announced that the bad guys would just have to share bullets, but I could certainly feel the kickback each and every time a gun was fired.
The real treat, however, was when they played a screen capture of Call of Duty VR. The player took cover as a barrage of bullets came from both sides. I could feel the recoil as the player leaned around and fired off several quick rounds before taking cover once more. I felt the huge explosion on the left side of the battlefield before I saw it, and what was even more exciting was how the slow rumble of the still-collapsing building stayed locked into place, even as the player looked around the field. It’s easy to feel queasy in VR, but a technology like Woojer could help alleviate that, simply by making the player feel more physically present in the scene.
What was most exciting about this was that I had experienced all this while wearing a prototype for the Edge Series vest, not the $800 top of the line vest. The Edge Series does not yet have an announced price, but a Kickstarter is coming soon. Be sure to check back with Gaming Trend for more information on the Edge Series, the price, Kickstarter date, and some hands-on.