The immersive experiences from virtual reality (VR) content developers aren’t just about what viewers see, they also have to involve the other senses like touch and sound to really envelop the user in a virtual world. This week Taction Technology launched the Taction Kannon, a haptic headphone that render low frequency audio using vibrations.
The company developed these headphones to address what they saw as failing in conventional headphones: the inability to reproduce low frequency audio. When users hear low frequency audio – deep bass below 60 Hz – its through vibrations caused by soundwaves resonating within the body. Using a newly designed haptic driver, the Kannon, Taction Technology claims, renders low frequency audio deeper and more accurately than any headphone ever made.
“Through innovations in engineering and product design we have been able to take a concept that had yet to be effectively realized and launch what we believe will be a market-changing product in the Taction Kannon,” said James Biggs, PH.D., executive and lead engineer at Taction Technology.
The Taction Kannon has been designed for a range of activities, listening to music, watching movies and playing videogames. And its the latest generation of VR titles that the company thinks would benefit from the Kannon’s. “Developers have recognized that haptic technology has a role to play in the fast evolving field of virtual reality,” said Michael Fierro, PH.D., executive at Taction Technology. “We believe our patent-protected haptic drivers, with their unique planar approach, can greatly benefit the VR user experience.”
The Taction Kannon headphone is expected to release in Q4 2016, with an expected retail price of $499 USD. The company is also running a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign where backers can get the headphones cheaper at an introductory cost, if the campaign succeeds.
VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest VR news, reporting back with any further announcements.