Viral Times

A viral novel to inject hearts with hope and health

Posts Tagged ‘haptics

Many massage points in today’s haptics chair

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The Consumer Electronics Show for 2010 kicked off last night, and the expo illuminated a few technologies that could play a role in Viral Times. The Inada Doctor’s Choice Massage Chair offers a vast range of massage points for its $5,799 retail price tag.

It’s a chair that mimics human touch. Inada says it’s shaped for 106 different human body types. If the programming could be transferred to a suit, like those in Viral Times, this touch could be used for immunotherapy while people are isolated during a viral storm. The same SimSuit that offers Secure Sex could serve as a naturopath’s healing tool.

During pre-programmed massages, kneading speeds automatically vary between 10 and 32 strokes per minute while tapping varies between 180 to 500 taps per minute. Proprietary 3-D rollers thrust forward and relax backward up to 2.8 inches, creating highly desirable movements of the spine. All these actions and many others are carefully managed by the chair’s electronics.

Over at VentureBeat, the reporter there was calling it a “glove chair.” Just drop the first letter off of that name and you’ll get another sensual purpose for the technology of today. Give a society a roadblock to physical contact like the New Flu and you’ll create a market demand for a love chair, or suit, that can be sold for a lot less than $5,799.


Written by Ron Seybold

January 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Viral Times: Novel

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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