Emerge Home - Ultrasound-Powered VR You Can Feel

Posted: February 13, 2022
$450 - $550
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The Emerge Home is a forthcoming VR companion for the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. A very, you could say, touchy-feely companion. The Emerge Home system uses the Emerge Wave-1, a device that emits ultrasonic waves to create tactile sensations around virtual objects and interactions. In other words, it turns VR into a world you don't just see, but also feel.

Since touch is crucial to our immersion in the physical world, Emerge believes they have found a way to...not replicate, but at least translate it to the virtual. The Emerge Wave-1 is a flat, desktop-ready box that projects its ultrasonic mid-air force field up to 3' above and 120 degrees around itself. With an Oculus Quest driving the visuals, and your hands hovering above the Wave-1, you can receive tactile feedback from the things and people you encounter as you move through your virtual world. Emerge is clear that they're "not attempting to recreate real-life textures or solid materials," but "a new language of touch" in VR.

The Emerge Wave-1 device pairs with the Emerge Home Quest 2 app and the Emerge Home mobile app, all included in the Emerge Home package. The apps have specific games and experiences designed for tactile interactions. And what do those include? Emerge gives the examples of a hit of precise mid-air pressure when you shake or hold someone's hand; and an energetic beam you can manipulate to destroy incoming asteroids.

The Emerge Home Quest 2 app consists of a virtual gathering place called the Center, and a Game Room. Up to 7 people can hang in a host's Center at once, chilling in virtual land and enjoying some ultrasonic high-fives and fist bumps. Maybe a round of arm wrestling or slap jack?

When you want to get more competitive - or collaborative - take it to the Emerge Game Room, filled with a variety of tactile-first games.

At printing, the Emerge Home system was running a Kickstarter campaign. VR enthusiasts...who own or plan to buy an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset...can back the project there through April 9, 2022.

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