Ron Seybold's Viral Times

A story to inject hearts with insight, hope and health

Posts Tagged ‘simulation

Haptics shows the steps to SafeSex

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One of the crucial concepts for Viral Times shows up early in the novel. In the first chapter of my novel the science of haptics, already well-developed today, has started to fill the gap that people create between themselves and communicable disease caused by viruses.

Given enough years and enough desire, haptics will offer the engine to drive the most serious home electronics device: The SimSuit. You only need to look at the Wikipedia definition of haptics to see how a well-built, broadband suit could help us reach out and touch.

Haptics is the study of touching as nonverbal communication. Touches that can be defined as communication include handshakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips, hand), back slapping, high fives, a pat on the shoulder, and brushing an arm. Touching of oneself may include licking, picking, holding, and scratching. These behaviors are referred to as “adaptor” and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a communicator. The meaning conveyed from touch is highly dependent upon the context of the situation, the relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch.

In 1992 I worked as a computer tech journalist and followed an emerging video game experience that let players fight in role-play onscreen, their movements tracked by a sensory ring on the floor, surrounding them. Less than 17 years later we have the Nintendo Wii — so popular it was sold out for stretches of 2008 — and advanced enough to let us play sports with one another. Or Just Dance.

An article today in Fast Company tracks the fun quotient and sweat rating of Wii games. By 2019, an emerging crisis of viral times can create a very different, haptic kind of sweat.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

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