Google takes virtual reality to the next level with Haptic Helpers. These VR virtuosis are presented in a new ad, which is released for the April Fool’s Day.
The spot starts with Jon Wiley, introducing himself as the director of Immersive Design for Google VR and AR products, who talks about how the current VR technology, that is “pretty good in terms of the visuals and the audio”, could be improved by adding also the other three senses (taste, touch and smell). “After exploring automated technologies using robotics, we found that we could actually achieve a better quality simulation with well-trained humans.”, states Wiley, adding that these “well-trained humans”, who can simulate a wide range of experiences, are called “Haptic Helpers”. If you’re asking yourself what kind of experiences, Wiley gives you the answer: “things like smelling perfume, reading a book, sitting by a fireplace, or even petting a dog”. In the meantime, on screen a Haptic Helper is shown holding a perfume bottle under the nose of a man using a VR headset gear, opening a book in front of him, holding a flashlight to make him warm, and a mop to make him believe he’s petting a dog.
“Figuring out how to simulate such a range of experiences has been challenging but rewarding. And our helpers’ inventiveness cannot be overstated.”, continues Wiley his speech, while a Haptic Helpter continues to help VR users by holding in front of them all kind of objects, such as a hair dryer, a small fan, a bunch of flowers, and doing all kind of activities so that the VR users could benefit an “improved” experience, such as shirring eggs and pinching their arm.
“Our helpers are constantly updating their repertoires to stay up to date with the latest VR applications being released. And the feedback we’ve gotten from early user testing has been incredible.”, concludes Wiley.
The commercial ends with the invitation for viewers to sign up to be a beta tester at vr.google.com/haptichelpers.