Virtual reality is a huge topic in the news right now, and with the many VR headsets to be released soon, we imagine the topic will only get hotter. Of course, gamers aren’t the only ones excited about the technology, and plenty of university students have taken a shine to the options virtual reality provides.
The International collegiate Virtual Reality Contest started in 1993, and since then it’s been one of Japan’s best places to find virtual reality project made by students from Japan and abroad. What you might not expect though is just how odd some of these projects can be, with everything from simulated pants wetting to simulated creepy ear whispering.
Most of us dread the thought of an “accident,” but for the “Incontinence Research Group” from Denki Tsushin Daigaku, it has proven to be a source of inspiration.
Included among the many entries to this year’s International collegiate Virtual Reality Contest (IVRC) is the “Urea Labyrinth Pants-wetting Experience,” which features simulated pants wetting—but with a twist!
▼ But not a twist of lemon, despite what the illustration might suggest…
The experience starts with the user strapping a device around their…area. This device isn’t just a diaper as you might guess form the name; it actually has a number of functions, including applying pressure to your abdomen, vibration to your back, and warmth to your crotch. All this basically simulates the experience of wetting your pants.
Once all wrapped up like a baby, the user is then given a cup of (real) water to drink, to add to the realism. Then, the “goal” is to rock yourself left to right, basically guiding the “water” (shown via a game on-screen in front of the user) down to leave the body. And once the simulated water reaches the exit, the user feels a warmth on their crotch, as if they had actually tinkled in their big kid pants!
▼ “Incontinence Research in progress / Researcher, ‘Oh…this is nice…’ #IVRC”[tweet https://twitter.com/catset1002/status/653506941889544192 align=center]
While this is kind of (or, actually, really, really) absurd, there’s a very clever question being tackled here: What is the physical sensation of peeing? One of the challenges of virtual reality is replicating the full bodily sensation of an experience—and wetting oneself is an experience full of a wide array of sensations, from the warmth spreading across your crotch to the internal pressure on your bladder.
While there probably won’t be many people who line up to buy an incontinence simulator, knowing how to simulate a wide range of physical sensations will surely go a long way to helping improve our virtual reality experiences. That said, we’re not sure what to make of Kameoka’s comment that wetting one’s pants is “a dream.” Maybe he meant to say nightmare?
▼ Check out a full demonstration below.
Of course, there are many other simulated experiences to be had at IVRC! For example, you can “enjoy” the horrible feeling of someone invading your personal space and blowing in your ear.
▼ The team has also chosen the absolutely perfect name “Gentelmen&Perverts.”
▼ That expression pretty much sums it up.
You can also experience the feeling of “trying to go up a step when there isn’t one.” Again, this isn’t something most people want to experience, but being able to replicate it will certainly help make our VR worlds more realistic! Especially ones that involve being a total klutz.
You can see many, many more of the virtual reality projects in the official IVRC video below, from “being a kite” to going ski jumping. There’s even a one that will let you try out being a cockroach!
▼ Isn’t the future awesome?
So, who do you think will win this year’s competition? Our money is on the pants wetting experience. It just has a certain “raison d’peepee,” we think.