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Fallen Planet deepen VR immersion with mid-air haptics

How leading independent VR studio Fallen Planet integrated Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptic feedback technology into their own IP to create an immersive multi-sensory VR horror experience.

“For us virtual reality is all about immersion and agency. The ability to remove the need for hand-held controllers and replace them with Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptic feedback increased the level of both of these in our AFFECTED: The Visit experience. The reception we’ve seen at IAAPA has been fantastic.”
– Alex Moretti, CEO of Fallen Planet Studios

Background

Fallen Planet Studios is an independent development studio whose primary focus is the creation of immersive games and experiences for Virtual Reality (VR). It was one of the world’s first game development studios to focus solely on VR and is considered to be one of the pioneers of high-quality location-based VR experiences.

AFFECTED: The Visit

Fallen Planet license IP to over 30 countries (a mixture of VR arcades and theme parks). Their horror experience AFFECTED: The Manor was described by VR site Realovirtual as “one of the most terrifying experiences that we have tested on the Oculus Rift”.

The challenge

One of Fallen Planet’s fundamental aims is to create a sense of immersion and agency in VR. While the quality of visuals and hardware in VR headsets is rapidly advancing, they identified the need to use hand-held controllers to interact as a key feature holding them back.

AFFECTED: The Visit skeleton hands

The solution

Ultrahaptics create haptic feedback in mid-air using ultrasound. No wearables or peripherals are required: the patented “virtual touch” technology allows users to interact in VR using only their hands.

Fallen Planet used Ultrahaptics’ STRATOS™ Inspire hardware and the Ultrahaptics Core Asset for Unity® (or UCA; currently in beta release). Using the UCA, the studio was able to integrate mid-air haptics into their existing IP and Unity® workflow, try out different haptic sensations and iterate quickly with no prior knowledge of the technology.

Ultrahaptics Core Asset for Unity fire hand

The result was a brand-new three-minute VR horror experience extending Fallen Planet’s existing IP called AFFECTED: The Visit that required no hand-held controllers.

“We develop exclusively in Unity® so for us it’s extremely important that the hardware we use also has that software integration. Ultrahaptics’ hardware/software integration is the best we have personally experienced. The UCA allowed us to integrate the technology into our project and focus on just creating the experience rather than thinking about how to get the hardware working.”
– Alex Moretti, CEO of Fallen Planet Studios

Ultrahaptics Core Asset for Unity haptic globe

Results

The experience got incredibly positive reactions from visitors to IAAPA. Fallen Planet are now looking to integrate Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptic feedback technology with their own IP and software to create a profitable turnkey solution for VR arcades worldwide.

“I was very impressed with the interaction, the touch and feeling, the sense of heat and cold that it helps your mind to imagine… It’s a really great experience, I highly recommend it.”

“My hand’s on fire!”

“It’s the first time I’ve had any sort of sensation like this before. Paired with the content it was… consuming. This is a great thing you have right here.”

“It was the sickest experience ever! You could actually feel as things were happening.”

– Reactions from IAAPA visitors

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