Palo Alto, California – March 14, 2016 – Tactical Haptics will show off two new VR apps that highlight its unique brand of haptic touch feedback in combination with the HTC Vive at the 2016 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California. The first of these two apps is a new sci-fi space shooter that brings together many of the physical interactions from the company’s long-standing tech demos, into one action-packed game. The second app is Reactive Brush – VR painting with the sense of touch. Attendees at the conference will have the tough choice to decide, which app to try on the Expo floor at booth #115.

The company’s new sci-fi space shooter starts simply with the task of loading cargo using a gravity gun, when along comes a security patrol and things heat up. Multiple waves of drones must be fended off using blasters, energy bows, and light swords to survive. While the wonderful tracking of HTC Vive captures of the user’s motions, Reactive Grip touch feedback brings it all to life by physically connecting the user to the game…






The second app, Reactive Brush, is relatively new and resembles a light weight version of VR painting app Tilt Brush. However, with Reactive Brush the user’s painting motions are met with responsive feedback of the Reactive Grip controllers, which varies depending on the actions of the user. For instance, as the user paints in the air, feedback on the Reactive Grip controller mimics the drag forces one would experience when moving through viscous media. When reshaping or scaling the drawing, the feeling of elasticity is fed back to the user. And while Reactive Grip feedback cannot apply external forces on the user’s hand, people who have tried our demos to-date have been delighted by the tactile illusions created by our haptic controller. For example, attendees at VRLA’s Winter Expo said that drawing with Reactive Brush™ with Reactive Grip™ touch feedback made drawing in VR feel “more human,” “active,” or “closed the loop” for them and made drawing in VR feel “more natural.” 

Tactical Haptics is aspiring to bring the much needed sense of touch to VR. While considerable attention and resources has been focused on creating high fidelity head-mounted displays (HMDs) and tracking solutions that are affordable to consumers, true immersion must engage all of the senses and progress toward providing realistic touch feedback has largely been ignored. Reactive Grip is poised to fill this gap, as it can provide more realistic touch feedback than tradition rumble feedback, yet does not limit the gamer to interact at a desk as required by past force feedback devices like the Novint Falcon. Reactive Grip feedback provides flexible options for both casual seated play as well as full motion controlled virtual reality interactions.

Reactive Grip touch feedback mimics the shear forces that we naturally feel when we grasp an object with our own hands. We create a haptic illusion of physical interaction in VR by tracking the movements of the player’s hands, which now uses the HTC Vive controllers to accomplish this, and actuating small sliding plates on the surface of the controller to provide the expected in-hand friction and shear forces. This allows users to feel the illusion of heft of lifting an object, drag when painting in the air, stretch when pulling back on a bow or other objet, kick of a gun, the tug of a fish on the line, and many other haptic interactions that are missing from VR today. We call it Reactive Grip shear feedback because the controller reacts to a player’s actions in the virtual world.

To experience our new apps and wireless haptic controllers with the HTC Vive before it is available for sale, visit booth #115 in the south expo hall at the 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, March 16-18.


For additional assets, including screen captures of the two apps and a YouTube video of Reactive Brush, please visit:



For more information on Reactive Grip touch feedback, please visit: http://tacticalhaptics.com/media

Related Links:

Official Website: http://TacticalHaptics.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TacticalHaptics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TacticalHaptics
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TacticalHaptics/videos

About Tactical Haptics

Tactical Haptics is revolutionizing human-machine interfaces through a new type of touch feedback that is more realistic than industry-standard vibration feedback — Reactive Grip™ touch feedback. The company’s initial target market is virtual reality (VR), where its touch feedback will create fully immersive experiences to make VR (and AR) compelling to millions of more people. Reactive Grip™ touch feedback creates engaging physical interaction in virtual environments that significantly improves upon the realism of interactions compared to “rumble” vibration feedback. Other applications include navigation aids for the blind, physical therapy (e.g., upper limb rehabilitation), robotic and minimally invasive surgery, piloting drones/UAVs, sports/swing training, education, and telerobotics. Tactical Haptics was founded by William Provancher, former professor of mechanical engineering in 2013.


Media Contact:
William Provancher