Sensory trick makes objects seem heavy or light in virtual reality

Vibrating pads placed on people’s arms can make the illusion of weight in virtual reality more convincing by tricking the brain to disregard some input from our senses

Technology 10 September 2022

Children wearing VR headsets

Virtual objects’ lack of weight can make the VR experience less immersive

Pressmaster/Shutterstock​

Vibrating pads placed on people’s arms can make the illusion of holding light or heavy objects in virtual reality more convincing by making us disregard some inputs from our senses.

Some virtual reality systems create a perception of mass by slowing down the movement of a virtual object relative to how much our limbs move. For example, if a person picks up a heavy metal sphere, the system can cause a “lag” by only moving a fraction of the …

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