OWO’s ‘Second Skin’ Powers You Up and Could Change How You Play ‘Assassin’s Creed Mirage’

“Feel the killer,” is how hardware manufacturer OWO advertises a ‘second skin’ that lets you really feel events from a game. That game, in this case, is ‘Assassin’s Creed Mirage’. Can this ‘haptic vest’ deliver what it promises? And above all: do you want that in this assassin game? The Spanish company sent us a copy, so we say a quick prayer and go for it. ‘#FeelThe Assassin’, here we come!

LOOK. In this video you can see how the vest works and how people react to the shocks it gives

First and foremost: OWO’s ‘haptic gaming system’ is not a vest that you wear over your clothing and exert pressure on your body via all kinds of motors. It resembles a cycling jersey, in this case in the style of ‘Assassin’s Creed Mirage’, that you have to pull tightly over your bare chest. It is very comfortable and it is available in all kinds of sizes, so that even beer bellies are packed just like real cycling tourists.

But it has to make contact with your skin, and it does this via twenty large and small gel pads. They are sticky and they are all protected with individual layers of plastic. After each game you have to stick the protection back on, being careful that the pads do not stick to the jersey itself. Special, that’s the least you can say about it.

© MONEY

Stimuli and shocks

But here’s the thing: this gadget works with electrical impulses that shoot through your skin to your muscles via the gel pads. In a side pocket of the jersey you connect a device containing the battery and communication equipment. It is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and the cables are neatly concealed in the textile. Via the app you can then set when you feel the current, when everything still feels comfortable and – important! – what the maximum funk is that you can tolerate.

And Jesus Christ, that can be a bit disappointing. On my first quick attempt, everything didn’t work as it should, probably because the battery wasn’t charged enough yet. So I set all the maximums quite high. But during the second real test I almost flew out of the seat because the higher setting from last time was still active for some sensations. You probably know those videos of men who use electrodes on their abdomen to experience contractions and childbirth? Well, yes, it went in that direction. And the strength was only at 16, while the thing can go up to 80!

The app lets you set a lot of sensations separately.
The app lets you set a lot of sensations separately. © screenshot

You can feel penetration at the front and back

The twenty gel pads are on your upper arm, your upper and lower back, your stomach and your chest. The app divides them into large and small muscles, so that you can choose the right settings for both muscle groups. In this game you have more than thirty sensations, and they are not just vibrations in one place. When you climb a building, you only feel it in your biceps. But when you are hit from behind by a spear, you first feel the impact in the back of your back and then in your stomach where the weapon supposedly comes out, and vice versa. When you zoom along a zipline, you first feel it in your arms and then in your stomach. And when you perform a ‘leap of faith’ jump, the sensation runs from your stomach to your arms and your back. Deflecting a blow then leads to a tingling sensation that alternates between your left arm and the left side of your chest.

Fortunately, we don’t know the answer to whether the stimulus you feel really resembles the stab of a knife in your stomach. But in different places on your body you experience a lot of different sensations, the different parts of which you can also adjust separately.

There are also gel pads in the sleeves.
There are also gel pads in the sleeves. © sam

Play differently

The technology works remarkably well, but I personally don’t like it when I feel a vibration when I jump into a hay bale or climb a building. That kind of immersion seems more suitable for a VR game to me. But the technology becomes very interesting in ‘Assassin’s Creed Mirage’ when you increase the level of attack stimuli, because then the vest can change the way you play. I tend to like jumping into fights in ‘Assassin’s Creed’ games, and if my character gets hit a few times, it’s no big deal. A snack of berries or a medicinal drink and go, that life bar is full again. But when I also physically feel the attacks of opponents as vicious stabs, that’s a different story. I’ve started running a lot quicker from fights, just to avoid that electric shot.

Before each session you need to peel a foil off the gel pads.
Before each session you need to peel a foil off the gel pads. © sam

It really is that fight or flight response from psychology that suddenly rears its head, a kind of mild panic reaction. Pure Pavlov, and how quickly a person can be trained. Before I started the test, I wondered what the point was of actually feeling a knife attack, but that’s the wrong question. What matters is that this vest encourages your brain to just avoid that knife attack. So I play the game a lot with that thing on stealthier, as the makers at Ubisoft actually wanted. And if you look at the vest that way, playing with it can offer a lot of added value.

And speaking of value: the price of 539 euros is not low. In addition to the jersey, you also get the game, twenty extra gel pads and a storage bag.

Neutral versions of the jersey are also available.
Neutral versions of the jersey are also available. © MONEY

Decision

The ‘haptic vest’ from OWO does what it promises and the technology is well put together. It is a bit too easy to dismiss this product with the approach of ‘what masochist wants to torture themselves in a game’, but then you ignore the real potential, which is situated on a psychological rather than a physical level.

At the same time, the nature of the technology is also the major disadvantage of this product. Peeling those plastics off the gel pads, carefully putting on that sweater without touching the pads, connecting that app, it’s a hassle. The gel pads also mean in fact that you will not exchange jerseys with each other, so you pay a large sum of money for a very individual gadget. An interesting gadget, yes, but for whom?

LOOK. In this video you can see how the vest works and how people react to the shocks it gives

MONEY
© MONEY

2023-12-03 20:58:21
#OWOs #Skin #Powers #Change #Play #Assassins #Creed #Mirage

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