The folks at Discover point to a heretofore under-appreciated sense in games: touch. Researchers at Disney announced something called the “Tactile Brush” that could simulate touch in film and games. I can’t see this making Dead Space anything but more terrifying:
It has long been known that if two vibrating objects are successively placed at different points on the skin, an illusion of motion can be created between the two points. Another illusion known as ‘phantom tactile sensation’ is done by placing vibrating objects at different points on the skin at the same time which creates a tactile sensation between the points.
The ‘Tactile Brush’ uses both of these ideas to produce all kinds of sensations. An array of vibrating coils is placed in the user’s chair and by manipulating the intensity of vibration of different coils, the system can create sensations as powerful as a vehicle making a hard turn or as subtle as a drop of rain trickling down the skin.