Designed for potential AR and VR applications, TORC – Touch Rigid Controller – is Microsoft’s latest device which uses haptics in order to give you the feeling of squeezing objects and the texture and depth of them.
According to the company, the palm-sized shell has advantages over the complex and expensive VR touch gloves. You can’t see any moving parts but the internal touch and force sensors will identify the position of a moving thumb, as well as twin actuators that attach to others fingers to mimic texture.
With every move of the thumb on the object, users are able to feel different sensations, motion, depth, and resistance.
Microsoft TORC initially began as a project designed to simulate the feeling of squeezing a rubber stress ball in VR. The fingers might not move, but the ball will be seen squeezed on the screen and the user will feel it during the whole process.
Currently, the controller seems attached to a sort of a stick and is expected to be integrated into VR and AR controllers. It could work with the Xbox One and Windows MR-style controllers.
TORC is being shown off these days at the CHI 2019 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.