RGB Haptics is a new Unity package which enables developers to easily add high quality haptics to their VR apps and games.
RGB Haptics was developed by a Seattle based startup called RGB Schemes, which develops VR games and developer tools.
The startup was inspired by seeing Nintendo’s use of haptics for its “HD Rumble” feature for the Switch. Upon investigation, they realized that the Switch Joy-Cons contain the same haptic hardware, Linear Resonant Actuators (LRAs) as the original Oculus Touch and HTC Vive controllers, as well as the new Valve Index controllers. Nintendo was applying smart software to hardware already available in VR, so RGB Schemes decided to bring this level of haptic fidelity to the VR world.
Developers feed the tool an audio file, or can design their own waveform directly in the Unity editor. Developers can play and pause these waveforms at will. The software will automatically slice the data to target the controller’s refresh rate, resulting in smooth haptics.
The included example simulates the haptics of moving balls around in a held container, a homage to the “ice cubes in a cup” demo Nintendo gave for HD Rumble when the Switch was announced.
RGB Haptics uses Unity’s XR platform, so it should work with any VR controller which Unity natively supports (ie. all the major platforms). It should even work on the Magic Leap One’s controller, though the company hasn’t yet tested this.
Unfortunately, however, the new Touch controllers on the Oculus Quest and Rift S, as well as the Windows MR controllers, use Eccentric Rotating Mass (ERM) actuators instead of LRAs. ERMs are less precise than LRAs and have higher latency. RGB Haptics will still work with these controllers, but like with any app using that hardware the haptics won’t feel as good.
RGB Haptics is available on the Unity Asset Store for $29.99.