this startup wants you to feel pain in the virtual world and has already created a bracelet with electrical stimuli

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Put yourself in situation. One day you wake up, look out the window and see that it’s pouring rain like there’s no tomorrow, so you decide to put on your augmented reality glasses and enjoy a few minutes of escape in the Metaverse before going to the office. It’s summer there, of course, and the weather is so good that you dare to take a walk on the beach. The problem is that while you are enjoying the sun, the breeze and the song of the cormorant, a wasp lands on your neck and stings you.

What happen? You feel pain? It would be normal, right? Hadn’t we agreed that what really made the Metaverse special, what differentiated it from virtual reality, is precisely that it offers an immersive experience? And wouldn’t it be logical for pain to be included in that pack?

H2La Japanese startup backed by the multinational Sony, think so. In his opinion, the Metaverse will be reached (also) to suffer. You know, just like in school Fame.

Objective: not to lose any nuance

Although the Metaverse is basically a concept that is beginning to take shape, especially with the push of Meta —formerly Facebook—, there are companies that are already working to provide users with new experiences in virtual worlds. H2L is one of them. The Japanese company, with 10 years of history, which has the backing of Sony and has managed to raise 8.4 million dollars, is working on a technology that replicates tactile sensations with electrical stimulation. Among them, the annoyances, keys, defend, so that we perceive the Metaverse as an authentic environment.

“Feeling pain allows us to turn the world of the Metaverse into a real world, with a greater sense of presence and immersion,” he says. Emi TamakiCEO and co-founder of the company to Financial Times. She knows well what she is talking about. In addition to being an expert in haptic technologies, linked to touch, Tamaki suffers from a congenital disease that marked her adolescence and determines her life, which motivated her to seek ways to link physical experience to machines.

What is the Metaverse, what possibilities does it offer and when will it be real

Its objective –as explained to the British newspaper— is to “liberate humans from any kind of restriction in terms of restriction in terms of space, body and time” by 2029, when he hopes that H2L devices can spread to different applications.

Logically, in mind they not only have to reproduce pain; The Japanese company also wants the user to be able to experience “real sensations” such as the weight when an object is lifted, the impact of catching a ball or the pecking of a bird that we are feeding.

To achieve this, H2L has already developed a bracelet that detects the flexing of muscles and uses electrical stimulation to manipulate them and mimic sensations. The device also makes it possible for the user’s avatar to copy their movements and transfer them to the virtual world.

On his website you can see a video of your FirstVR device, which also includes glasses; and the “Possessed Hand” kit. “If you put a bracelet-type controller around your arm and wear glasses, you can immediately experience a new feeling of VR/AR,” highlights. The FirstVR page offers the option to buy the device in japan for 9,980 yen, about 74 euros.

The company highlights that its technology can be used, for example, to experience kayaking down rivers around the world, improve teleworking or in games. Tamaki, however, insists on the applications of a technology that, he emphasizes, can help connect the real and virtual worlds. “People like me, who can’t go out often because of heart disease, can travel anywhere, anytime,” highlights the co-founder of H2L.


Although it is not usual for a company to openly explain that one of its objectives is to make its customers suffer —in the fullest and most literal sense of the word—, the truth is that H2L it’s not the only one company that aspires to offer immersive experiences in virtual reality.

In November, Meta herself announced that she is working on a haptic glove with which she wants us to feel like real objects from the Metaverse. As detailed then, the device will clearly perceive the edges, smoothness and vibrations of elements that do not exist in reality. In Spain, OWO has also developed a haptic jacket that reproduces sensations.

Pictures | H2L

Put yourself in situation. One day you wake up, look out the window and see that it’s pouring rain like…

Put yourself in situation. One day you wake up, look out the window and see that it’s pouring rain like…

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