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PRODUCT
You can learn about the TFS2 by reading the FAQ below. If you have additional questions, please send email to faq@ivibe.com and we'll try to answer as soon as we can.

PRODUCT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the "TFS2" Tactile Feedback System Version 2.0?
What is the "TFS2" electronic controller?
What is the "TFSU" Tactile Feedback Seating Unit?
How does the TFS2 work with the game or sim I am using?
Is the system hard to use?
What is intellivibe?
Should I use the USB connection or the parallel port connection?
What is AudioSense?
How does AudioSense work?
What can AudioSense do for me during flight and driving simulations?
How does the TFS2 generate the feedback that I can feel?
What were the design goals for the TFS2?



What is the "TFS2" Tactile Feedback System Version 2.0?
The "TFS2" is the short name for the "Tactile Feedback System Version 2.0". The TFS2 is a computer gaming peripheral that will make the action on your PC seem as real as possible. It is, quite simply, the most effective tactile feedback system ever available for computer gaming. When you combine the great graphics and sound of today's games with the TFS2, you'll be put in the game to a depth never before possible. No other peripheral will bring you as close to your gaming as the TFS2.

The TFS2 comes standard with the TFS2 electronic controller and the TFSU Tactile Feedback Seating Unit. These are described below.   To Top


What is the "TFS2" electronic controller?
Click to see in 3D The TFS2 electronic controller is the "brain" of our Tactile Feedback System. The TFS2 controller is the interface between your computer and the tactile feedback devices that are compatible with it. The TFS2 controller will generate tactile feedback for your gaming sessions both with and without support from any given game or simulation, or any given PC or gaming console. It already works with every game or sim you own!   To Top


What is the "TFSU" Tactile Feedback Seating Unit?
Click to see in 3D Simply put, the TFSU allows you to feel what is going on inside a computer generated world without putting a subwoofer under your ass inside a hard plastic seat. The TFSU is a tactile feedback seat unlike any other on the market. It is much more powerful than a very loud subwoofer, while making very little noise. Even when the TFSU is putting out its maximum possible feedback, all you'll hear is the hum of its actuators, which most often can't be heard over the sound your game is making.
The TFSU itself is a thick and durable seat cushion made of the highest quality fabric laminated polyurethane foam. It will fit in the chair you already use right now. Contained within the TFSU are 6 powerful electromechanical actuators, arranged in 3 pairs: one pair in the back section, one pair in the left leg section, and one pair in the right leg section. All three zones can function independently or in unison. By having three independent zones, games that support intellivibe can render things such as vector based gforce, acceleration and braking cues, direction-based incoming flak, and just about any other thing you can think of.

Our tactile feedback actuators use heavy duty industrial brushless 26 volt Mabuchi DC motors. These are among the highest quality DC motors available on the planet. Each is expected to last for years of heavy use. Although it has not yet happened, if an actuator dies (which is highly unlikely), you can replace it easily within minutes. The TFSU allows access to its internal actuators through zippers on the back of the unit. The actuators connect with a simple clip connector. It is a very simple operation to replace a failed actuator. Alternatively, you can send in your TFSU for service, and we'll do it for you. We should point out that it is likely you will never need to replace a failed actuator. If you do, however, you'll find that the design of the TFSU was mindful of the possibility. We are with you for the long term!   To Top



How does the TFS2 work with the game or sim I am using?
The TFS2 works with nearly every single game or simulation available, regardless as to the particulars of any given title or platform.

The TFS2 has two modes of operation: AudioSense and intelliVIBE.

Here is the shortest possible explanation:
AudioSense works with EVERYTHING.
intelliVIBE works only with game titles that support it.
   To Top



Is the system hard to use?
The good thing about the TFS2 is that is can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. There are enough advanced features to keep the hard-core gamers pleased, but all of the advanced features can be safely ignored without adversely affecting the system.

Here is the minimum you need to know:

If the game supports intellivibe, you're done. There's nothing to do but enjoy. Additionally, you can tweak all the available game-specific intellivibe settings to your own preferences, and even trade intellivibe configuration files with other TFS2 users.

If the game does not support intellivibe, you'll have to use AudioSense:

OPTIMIZEIf there is an AudioSense file available for the specific game or sim you are about to use, click on the file to automatically load it into the TFS2. If there is no AudioSense file for your chosen game or sim, you'll just use the normal default settings. Then, while playing your game, you'll adjust the AudioSense slider until things "feel right".

NOTE: If there is no AudioSense file for the title you want, you can send an email to audiosense@ivibe.com we'll make one for you as soon as possible and post it for everyone. In the meantime, you can use the default (general purpose) settings, make your own AudioSense file, or modify one from a similar game. You can do this with the same program we use to make them ourselves.

In the near future, there will be AudioSense files for just about every title imaginable. You'll also be able to tweak all the available AudioSense settings to your personal preference, and even trade AudioSense configuration files with other TFS2 users.   To Top



What is intellivibe?
intellivibe is the direct control mode that works only with games or simulations that support it. If any given game or simulation supports intellivibe, the intellivibe mode of operation will automatically engage (unless you intentionally disable it -- for example, if you want to force an "AudioSense only" mode). The TFS2 will do the rest from that point on.

We are currently working with many cutting edge developers to have intellivibe support put into their up and coming titles. The library of intellivibe enabled titles will grow very rapidly in the near future.

If the game or simulation does not support intellivibe, AudioSense will take over.

intellivibe works through your computer's USB port or your computer's parallel (printer) port.   To Top



Should I use the USB connection or the parallel port connection?
intellivibe can use whichever port is most convenient for you. intellivibe is 100% plug and play in either case. For example, if your PC has two USB ports, and you already have used them both, and you don't have a USB hub to give you more USB ports, you can simply use the parallel port. Either way is fine.   To Top


What is AudioSense?
AudioSense is a universal compatibility mode that works with every single game or simulation that generates sound effects, regardless of the type of machine the software is running on. If a game has no sound effects, we don't want it anyway. As long as it has sound effects, AudioSense will do its thing.   To Top


How does AudioSense work?
AudioSense digitally samples the sound effects from your computer as they are generated in real time. It then uses a digital signal processing algorithm (that is uniquely customized for each specific game or simulation) to tell the TFS2 how to generate useful tactile feedback based upon this real time digital audio analysis. Essentially, AudioSense "interprets" the sound effects from the game as they are generated in real time, and then creates real time tactile feedback as it finds appropriate. AudioSense does this regardless as to the game that is running, regardless as to the hardware that the game is running on, and without its existence even being acknowledged by your gaming system. As far as your gaming rig knows, the TFS2 and AudioSense do not exist. You'll know they exist, because your game will feel as close to reality as it can get. And a speaker in chair will have had nothing to do with it.

Game specific AudioSense configuration files will be available in a free library on our web site. These files are used to configure the TFS2 for optimal AudioSense performance for any given software title. You can program the TFS2 with any given AudioSense configuration file by simply clicking on an icon. The TFS2 gets programmed in less than one second. You can, of course, make (or modify) your own AudioSense configuration files, with the same GUI that we use to make them ourselves. If there is no AudioSense file already made for a specific game, you can use the default settings or make your own AudioSense file. Or, let us know by sending an email to audiosense@ivibe.com, and we'll make a file as soon as possible and post it for everyone.

AudioSense will work with any audio source, such as a movie or an audio CD. We could say that using AudioSense with your favorite music is an excellent experience. You can find that out for yourself if you buy the system. That is a bonus that is built into the technology, and is not a major selling point for us. Ultimately, AudioSense does not need to know what the source of the audio is. AudioSense will do its best interpretation of the audio that it is being fed, regardless of what that audio source is. And yes, it's very cool with music. But you didn't hear that from us.   To Top

Click here for a more technical explanation of AudioSense



What can AudioSense do for me during flight and driving simulations?
During FLIGHT simulations AudioSense will generate enough information so the tactile feedback seat will make you feel like you are sitting in the simulated aircraft. Depending on how well the audio in the simulation is rendered, AudioSense will generate tactile feedback based upon:
  • the energy condition of your engine and/or propeller
  • the discharge of your offensive weapons
  • incoming flak striking your aircraft
  • the wind and gforces that stress the structure of your aircraft
  • the movement of your landing gear
  • landing on the runway or crashing
During DRIVING simulations AudioSense will generate enough information so the tactile feedback seat will make you feel like you are sitting in the simulated car. Depending on how well the audio in the simulation is rendered, AudioSense will generate tactile feedback based upon:
  • the energy condition of your engine (RPM)
  • your throttle position
  • skidding or sliding on your tires
  • driving on rough surfaces, dirt, or grass
  • bumpimng into other cars or objects
  • shifting gears
  • crashing
During these and any other simulations, AudioSense will do its best to NOT generate tactile feedback as a result of things like other cars' engine sounds, radio chatter or background music.   To Top


How does the TFS2 generate the tactile feedback that I can feel?
Your computer is connected to the TFS2 electronic controller, which itself connects to the TFSU seat and other tactile feedback kits (these are not yet available).

The TFS2 electronic controller controls the tactile feedback devices that are connected to it.

The tactile feedback devices themselves are what create the physical sensations that you can feel.

Each tactile feedback device has within it a tactile feedback actuator, which consists of a very powerful motor that throws around a weight that has been optimized for its mass and shape, thereby yielding the maximum angular momentum potential possible for the power and efficiency characteristics of the motor we use. In simpler terms, this means the combination motor and weight inside our tactile feedback actuators is the perfect solution for making the precise type of vibration we require.

When our tactile feedback actuators do their thing, they perform physical work that creates physical vibration. This type of vibration is vastly superior to a loud speaker that tries to vibrate you with sound waves. You'll know what we mean when you try the system!   To Top



Design goals for the TFS2:
We chose specific design goals before we began building the TFS2:
  • Create a tactile feedback seat that does not require putting a subwoofer under your ass
  • Generate tactile feedback electromechanically, not by broadcasting loud sound at your body
  • Create an expandable system that can control multiple independent tactile feedback devices simultaneously
  • Create a system that works with all gaming and simulation software, right out of the box, without special support of any kind from the software or hardware you are using
  • Provide a direct control interface for cutting edge games and simulations, allowing technology leading game developers to directly control the tactile feedback in multiple independent zones
  • The complete system must be lightweight, durable, quiet, comfortable, versatile & expandable
  • Provide both USB and parallel port connections to ensure system compatibility
  • Provide an upgradeable system, utilizing the internet for automatic updates of all software, device drivers, flash memory, and intellivibe and AudioSense modules for specific gaming titles
  • Provide a means for direct entry of AudioSense configuration data, so people without PC access can still adjust the entire set of AudioSense parameters for optimal use with any non-PC gaming system
  • Provide non-volatile memory for storing and holding game-specific configuration files without power to the unit
  • Provide integrated and digitally fuse protected expansion jacks for easy connection of additional tactile feedback accessories
All of our design goals were incorporated into the TFS2 for your gaming enjoyment!   To Top


Here is a more technical explanation of AudioSense:
AudioSense uses an analog audio preamplifier and three analog audio frequency filters to amplify and separate your computer's audio signal into Bass, Midrange, and Treble analog audio streams. These three independent analog audio streams are digitally sampled thousands of times per second to become digital data. Once in the digital domain, each information stream is processed by the AudioSense algorithm which uses 48 reconfigurable digital signal processing parameters. The 48 digital signal processing parameters comprise three groups of 16 parameters, where each group of 16 parameters is applied to its own corresponding digital audio frequency band (Bass, Midrange, or Treble). All 48 parameters can be specifically optimized for any given game or simulation. These 48 AudioSense parameters are available in a library of pre-configured game-specific AudioSense configuration files (GAME_TITLE.VRF files) which are used to configure the TFS2 for optimal AudioSense performance for any given software title.

The AudioSense algorithm performs more than 1,000,000 calculations every second to interpret the sound effects from your game or simulation as they are generated in real time. The AudioSense algorithm is executed by a 20 MHz RISC microcontroller that itself performs more than 5,000,000 operations per second while it operates the TFS2.

As the audio analysis is completed, the TFS2 uses the AudioSense results to control the tactile feedback devices that are connected to it.

It is sufficient to say that the performance of AudioSense is truly amazing, especially when you consider that the game or simulation that it is working with does not even know it exists!   To Top


 

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