Teslasuit’s virtual hug is an important step for sextech in the metaverse

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teslasuit virtual hugs

The release of a haptic suit that has been used to administer a “really exciting” virtual hug to a BBC journalist has got tongues wagging about the technology’s future sextech potential in adult virtual reality (VR) and metaverse applications.

The Teslasuit costs from $8,500, so is unlikely to become a home or camming mainstay just yet. The suit has a full body haptic feedback system that uses electro muscle stimulation (EMS) to simulate feelings and sensations in the wearer.

The makers said that the Teslasuit can simulate sensations such as being on the receiving end of a rugby tackle and driving a vehicle at speed. But it is the virtual hug that has prompted online chatter about its potential for more intimate purposes.

teslasuit diagram
Diagrams of the Teslasuit

A BBC journalist trying out the Teslasuit experienced a virtual hug from a man who was standing close to her and making a hugging motion, which was relayed to the wearable device.

“I could feel it all down my back, and on my shoulders, and on my stomach… and it’s just really exciting,” they said.

Wearable haptic devices for VR use have been around for a while, with haptic vests and gloves among the items on sale, largely for gaming purposes. The Teslasuit covers more areas of the body than most previous haptic wearables available, with the makers saying it can be used for medical research as well as pleasure (albeit of the gaming rather than sexual kind).

Paul Nickeas, Teslasuit’s Vice President of global partnerships, told the Daily Star: “The Teslasuit works via biometry, haptics and motion capture, with the wearer being calibrated via a gaming PC, so can be propelled into extended or virtual reality.”

“Obviously the use cases are truly far-reaching – from medical rehabilitation, to training for dangerous work scenarios in a safe to fail environment. We are extremely excited about how our technology can be utilized for all aspects of the metaverse from gaming, training to now fashion,” he added.

Romantic metaverse interactions might not have been on the minds of the Teslasuit’s creators when they developed the haptic suit, but now its ‘virtual hug’ function has been proven it’s not a huge leap to imagine further touchy-feely uses.

As ever for devices such as these, which involve physical interaction with others, we hope that measures for consent and access will be considered as the Teslasuit continues to develop.

Read next: Kat Walk C2 treadmill lets you sit, crouch, lean forward and run in virtual reality

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Jamie F

Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice.

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