SALT LAKE CITY -- University of Utah engineers have designed a new kind of video controller with a thumb-pulling mechanism that mimics the tug of a fishing line or the recoil of a gun.
Mechanical engineering professor William Provancher is demonstrating the device this week at a Vancouver electronics symposium.
Controllers that give touch feedback emerged in 1997 with Nintendo64's "rumble pack," which simulated the vibrations of a car motor.
The new controller gives the player directional cues by stretching the skin of the thumb tips in different directions.
Developers say the controller makes games more realistic by simulating the impact of a crash, the push of ocean waves or the sensation of crawling on the floor in a shooting scenario.
A patent is pending on the device.