Feb. 17, 2016

Science of Innovation: Motion Controller for Virtual Reality

NBC Learn’s Science of Innovation Series profiles our company and haptic feedback technology.

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Road to VR




  Oct 26, 2015

Hands-on: Tactical Haptics’ Vive Demo is Further Proof That VR Needs More Than Rumble

…Tactical Haptics created a simple 3D printed attachment to mount the Vive controller to the wireless Reactive Grip controller.During demos of the system at VR Launchpad, the company strapped users into the HTC Vive headset and handed them one of the Reactive Grip controllers along with one of the normal Vive controllers in the other hand. Giving users a point of reference for what the experience was like with and without Reactive Grip clearly drove home how powerful the added feedback can be.

Read more…

ReactiveGrip+Vive (Medium)




Road to VR




As Ben Lang says in his interview introduction, Will Provancher is one of the OG’s of virtual reality. Tactical Haptic’s ‘Reactive Grip’ controller was one of the few peripherals shown back at GDC 2013 that aimed to enhance immersion compared with standard input devices. The Road to VR team caught up with Tactical Haptics again at GDC 2015 to chart the system’s progress over the last 2 years…

Read more…






Feb. 20, 2015

Gadgets Are Getting Better at Fooling Your Sense of Touch

Touch feedback that’s more nuanced than a simple buzz could make virtual reality more real and cars safer…

Read more…










October 10, 2014

The DeanBeat: Months after the Facebook-Oculus deal, virtual reality meetups have become the new rage

I was sweating inside the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Clang. Clang. Buzz. I held two virtual lightsabers, à la Star Wars, in my hands, and I had to fight off blaster-bolt attacks from a flying drone. Clang. Buzz. Buzz. Clang.

Read more…








September 22, 2014

Virtual Reality’s Next Challenge: The Perfect Controller

As Oculus gets closer to its first consumer Rift model, the pieces are starting to fall into place. With the visual aspects approaching targets thanks to the new Crescent Bay prototype and audio well underway, we wanted to know what the company was planning for an input device…

Read more…







December 9, 2013

Game Controller Lets You Feel The Weight Of Virtual Objects

Controller feedback hasn’t changed that much since the days of the Nintendo 64: something happens to your on-screen virtual avatar, and the controller rumbles in your hands to alert you. Although there have been tweaks, this has been the standard mechanism all the way up through the latest generation of consoles, the just-released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

So it’s refreshing to see innovation in the field, like the Reactive Grip controller–even if an influx of funding the creators were hoping for hasn’t come…  Read more…








December 8, 2013

Game Controller Lets You Feel The Weight Of Virtual Objects

Reality Check – The Future of Game Control

What does the future have in store for the way we control video games? Cameron Robinson investigates in Reality Check.

See coverage of Tactical Haptics at 2:06 of the video…






December 8, 2013

Virtual reality device lets you feel the weight of in-game objects

Reactive Grip is the work of Tactical Haptics, a company that specializes in commercializing haptic technology. The controller works with the help of a physics engine that uses muscle feedback in combination with virtual reality environments. The controller takes a digital representation of whatever virtual object you’re holding, measures yours hands and computes the physical force needed.  Read more…






December 6, 2013

Reactive Grip Wants Your Video Game Experience to Get Physical [Video]

A company called Tactical Haptics wants to give video games a sense of touch in a way that could put rumble packs to shame.

Founder and CEO William Provancher told Mashable that his company has built a virtual reality device called Reactive Grip, a combination of software and hardware that lets video game players use a specialized controller to experience physical sensations unlike anything previously seen in gaming. Reactive Grip does a couple of things to create a more lifelike experience for virtual reality users, and he hopes the technology will spark the next step in immersive gaming…  Read more and see the video…








November 18, 2013

Making video games feel more real [Video]

A San Francisco Bay area start-up is seeking funding to develop technology that could help video game players get a greater physical connection with the virtual world. The Reactive Grip handheld controller mimics the force and resistance of virtual objects in games, using small motors which move against the user’s skin. The company behind it, Tactical Haptics, says the technology could be extended to other applications – for example, to give doctors undertaking remote surgery more precise feedback when making incisions with robotic arms…  Read more and see the video…













November 18, 2013

University of Utah professor creates next-generation game controller

… “The first response is always a ‘wow’ and a double-take when they look at their hand,” said Markus Montandon, lead project developer for the new controller. “People are just so surprised at the difference between this and a simple vibration. Just that sense of connection to something virtual is, I think, what is most surprising.”

Unlike most video game controllers that employ a simple buzzing or “rumble” function similar to a cellphone on vibrate mode, the Reactive Grip controller is equipped with a series of vertical plates that slide up and down during game play. The effect is one that pulls and stretches the palm of the hand to mimic the bouncing suspension of a dune buggy, the kickback of a revolver, the swing of a ball and chain or the stretch of a slingshot…  Read more and see the video…







November 14, 2013

University of Utah Engineers May Have Revolutionized Virtual Gaming [Video]

A group of mechanical engineers have created something they believe will change the world of gaming, essentially by going beyond the buzz.

They have designed a new controller or reactive grip which gives feedback to the gamer that’s more than just a vibration.

Markus Montandon is the lead product developer with Tactical Haptics – the company trying to rollout the new reactive grip. Montandon tells Channel 2 News, “We’ve had controllers that buzz and vibrate for 16 years, but this takes it to a whole new level of immersion.”  Read more and see the video…








December 3, 2013

Reactive Grip Virtual Reality Touch Feedback Games Controller

… The Reactive Grip controller has been designed to add additional feedback and touch to virtual reality games and has been designed to be used with the likes of the Oculus Rift headset, but can also be used on its own if desired….






November 14, 2013

Reactive Grip Adds Realistic Feedback to Videogames [Video]

While we apply frictional forces to the hand rather than move weights around inside our controller, we still appreciate the coverage by Mashable.
See the video (same video as shown in Dec. 6 Mashable story above).






November 12, 2013

Reactive Grip Brings a Magic Touch to Gaming Control

Get in on the ground floor as we look at the most exciting crowdfunded tech projects out there right now. This week: Reactive Grip, a cross-game controller that replicates motion and force by moving slider plates on three sides of a player-gripped handle. The movement of the bars gives the player a sense of an object’s weight or the impact of a projectile, for example.
Read more…






November 6, 2013

Kickstarter game controller gives you a grip on virtual reality

Dr. William Provancher at the University of Utah builds fantastic toys, like robots that can climb up carpeted walls and gamepads which let players touch a virtual surface. Now, he’s trying to commercialize a game controller that lets you feel virtual objects as if they existed in the real world.

His new company Tactical Haptics has dubbed the technology “Reactive Grip,” and it actually works surprisingly well: we tried a prototype unit at GamesBeat 2013 last week, and were immediately impressed by how realistic the sensation felt…Read more…








November 6, 2013

Tactical Haptics controller brings an entirely new experience to gaming

The traditional idea of a gaming controller is something passive: you use it to tell the game what you want to happen, simple as that. But gaming is really all about interaction. For the most immersive experience possible, when something happens to your character in-game, you want to feel like it’s actually happening to you. Control and display systems like the Sixense STEM and Oculus Rift have made gaming immersion much more effective in just the past few years, but what’s still missing are techniques for games themselves to physically interact with the user in a way that has more to offer than an N64 rumble pack.

Read more…









November 6, 2013

Get a grip! Tactical Haptics launches Kickstarter campaign for ‘reactive grip’ game controller

William Provancher wants you to get a grip. His startup, Tactical Haptics, is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund small-scale production of a new kind of touch feedback game controller, dubbed Reactive Grip.

The Reactive Grip gives you much sharper sensations than the aging “rumble” game controllers with haptics, or touch feedback, from companies such as Immersion. I was able to demo the device, and the grip really does give you quite a bit of force feedback. It shows you how it feels to stab at a body with a sword, shoot a gun, fire a slingshot, or ride a dune buggy. It’s one of those experimental technologies that you have to feel to understand.

Read more…









November 6, 2013

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to interview Dr. William Provancher, Founder of Tactical Haptics.  His team has been working on an exciting new controller (the “Reactive Grip” controller) for gamers and VR enthusiasts, and today marks the launch of their Kickstarter!William is back to share the latest details, and highlights some content development ideas for future haptics professionals!
Read more…



Road to VR










Reactive Grip is an interesting technology by Tactical Haptics which lets you feel feelback from games in the palm of your hands. The company plans to take their prototype to Kickstarter to raise money for production versions of their controller. They say that motion component of the controller will support Sixense STEM and other trackers.

I got to try Reactive Grip for myself at GDC 2013. I was definitely not expecting a few sliding bars on the grip of a controller to be able to provide a number of compelling sensations, but they certainly did. Here’s a video of me checking out a prototype of the system:




November 6, 2013


Salt Lake City, Utah – November 6, 2013 –  Tactical Haptics, a technology startup, is bringing a new breed of touch feedback to market through Reactive Grip™. Their Kickstarter campaign will be used to build a developer and researcher community around creating the most realistic and tangible touch feedback experiences in games and virtual reality.  This unique haptic technology will be made available by funding Reactive Grip game controller development kits through Kickstarter.

Read more…



October 16, 2013

Getting Touchy Feely With Tactical Haptics!

Over the past two years, there has been a tremendous amount of focus on what we see in the VR world through products like the Oculus Rift, or how we move and interact with the Virtuix Omni treadmill or the upgraded Sixsense STEM System. But where is the feeling? The haptics? That nudge that tells you you aren’t dreaming?

Today, MTBS is proud to bring you our interview with Dr. William Provancher, Founder of Tactical Haptics and Associate Professor at the University of Utah. William will talk about the benefits of haptics, big challenges that need to be overcome, and where things are headed with his new device!

Read more…


October 16, 2013

Interview: William Provancher, creator of Reactive Grip motion controller

It has been a while since we acquainted you with Reactive Grip, a motion controller with tactile feedback for playing RPG games with swords or knifes. Since then a lot of improvements have been made to the Reactive Grip since it was first revealed  at Game Developer Conference (GDC) 2013 and now it is all set to hit Kickstarter soon (by the end of October). It is lighter and slimmer with the addition of ergonomically integrated trigger, thumbstick and buttons. The feedback of this motion controller has got even better and it is compatible with Sixense STEM tracking system with mounting options for trackers such as Razer Hydra…

Read more…


October 16, 2013

Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip Controller: Smaller Size, STEM Support, Heading to Kickstarter

Reactive Grip is an interesting technology by Tactical Haptics which lets you feel feelback from games in the palm of your hands. The company plans to take their prototype to Kickstarter to raise money for production versions of their controller. They say that motion component of the controller will support Sixense STEM and other trackers…

Read more…




August 30, 2013

The coolest motion controller tech you’ve ever seen

Naysayers will tell you that motion gaming is a gimmick; it doesn’t appeal to the hardcore crowd, and no one can make real games that support the tech. But don’t forget: More than 100 million people were perfectly okay spending a couple hundred bucks on a Nintendo Wii so they didn’t have to drive anywhere to go bowling. At least one person accidentally died for the chance to own the then-new console back when it launched in late 2006. So there must be some value in waving a piece of plastic in front of a television to make stuff happen on-screen.

For many, that value is in the accessibility that comes with motion controls. Think about what happens when you hand a gamepad to friends or family who don’t play games on the reg–watching them try to figure out how to use two analog sticks is like watching a person with one arm trying to pat his head and rub his belly at the same time. For those of us who grew up gaming, controlling a character’s movement independently from a free-moving camera is easy. But it’s nigh impossible for those who are just starting to get into gaming. That’s exactly what happened to Will Provancher, a professor at the University of Utah…




April 12, 2013

Grip Simulator Could Revolutionize the Feeling of Weapons in Games

When it comes to making video games feel more realistic, Nintendo seems to be one of the industry’s leading innovators. First it introduced a vibrating rumble controller accessory for the N64, and then of course it made a buttload of money from the motion-controlled Wii. But a company called Tactical Haptics wants to steal Nintendo’s thunder with a grip-simulating motion controller that promises to accurately simulate how a sword or gun really feels in hand…



April 11, 2013

MTBS GDC 2013 in 3D, Part III

… For me, the biggest surprise I found was a haptic feedback controller developed by William Provancher at the University of Utah in the Haptics and Embedded Mechanics Laboratory.

Described as a motion-based game controller with “Reactive Grip” touch feedback, their prototype device does a shockingly good job of conveying motion and force information from in game objects into your hand…





Road to VR

April 8, 2013

Reactive Grip Brings Tactile Feedback to the Razer Hydra, Other Motion Input Devices

At GDC 2013, a company called Tactical Haptics showed off a tactile-feedback system, called Reactive Grip, for motion-controlled input devices. The prototype I got to use consisted of a hacked up Razer Hydra built into a 3D printed housing with four sliders that move up and down in your hand as you grip the unit. For certain situations, like swinging a sword or flail, the system creates an impressively convincing sensation that could bring us one step closer to immersive virtual reality…

… When I asked Palmer Luckey what he thought about the system, he told me it was “totally badass…”




March 29, 2013

Babystepping Towards the Holodeck

… While you can now see and move around a virtual space, you wouldn’t have any tactile feedback from the virtual world you’re interacting with. One solution would be to carry a haptic feedback device like the one being developed by Tactical Haptics. Using a Razor Hydra for motion tracking, Tactical Haptics uses four sliding contacts around the handle to provide directional feedback when, say you fire a gun, or slash an enemy with a sword…






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