Computer games have entered our lives firmly, taking the place of honor as a leader among the many ways to organize leisure for people of various ages. Virtual reality beckons with its limitless possibilities, which are simply impossible to refuse. Children from an incredibly early age cannot imagine their life without a computer, tablet and phone, which they use for video games.
OWO GAME has developed and patented a tactile system that allows users to experience physical sensations during the game: a gunshot, blowing wind, a feeling like someone grabbed your hand or hugged you (more than 30 different sensations).
José Fuertes is CEO of OWO GAME and a passionate entrepreneur and industrial engineer who likes to innovate. His mission is to turn a virtual world into reality through the sense of touch. We spoke with him about new sensational technology, the future of PC gaming and the company’s plans to enter the Andorran market.
Interview: Irina Rybalchenko for El Periòdic News
One of the most successful and intriguing innovations of your company is a haptic vest. Could you explain how it works?
Well, we call it Second Skin. OWO is a haptic system related to the sense of touch. It transmits physical sensations to the body while playing video games, while being in the metaverse and while watching a movie. Unlike other products on the market, we don’t use vibration. The OWO Skin uses trains of pulse and an algorithm that allows us to modify the wave. This way we can create many different sensations.
How did this idea come about? What inspired you? How have you achieved the imitation of a gunshot, blowing wind, and a sensation of someone grabbing your arm or hugging you?
This is the third company I have created from scratch. I made Medical Calbes, then I created Wiemspro and I took the knowledge I gained from these companies to develop a new technology which is OWO. I have always dreamt of being part of the game, the main character of a movie. And that’s how OWO was born. I took the engineering team from Wiemspro and together we created the hardware, software and algorithm, then came the sensations. We tested and made changes as they were realistic for us. But that’s never enough.
We validated the sensations with several experts in the gaming sector and then continued creating.
How do you plan to develop your business? Do you have plans to enter the Andorran market?
We are currently based in Malaga. We would like to build strong business relationships in the Andorran market as there are many influential people from the video game sector there.
We would love to work with several streamers and influencers around the world.
What age are your games suited to?
We offer our sensations technology to any game and we are also compatible with all platforms (PC, mobile, console, VR) so there will be games suitable for all ages. However, our product is 18+ as it must always be used under adult supervision.
Virtual reality is one of my favorite science fiction concepts. Everyone talked about it, from Gibson to Wachowski. What fantastic concepts seem most real to you? Where can we come with the proper development of technology?
There are no limits to technology if you have the right idea and the team to make it happen. We have come a long way from a simple concept to making parallel virtual environments. Users can enter a virtual world, interact with the environment, look around and see and hear in 360º. But it doesn’t stop there, now we can also make users feel in that virtual world. You can be sitting in a world that is very different from the real one but interact with your everyday friends and even hug them.
Science fiction must be viewed from the point of view of two things: possible vectors of development of technologies and society and their influence on each other from one side and details, mechanics, and ideas from the other side. Do you agree? How to apply the experience of science fiction to reality?
There are many examples of science fiction ideas that have become a reality. The first thing we need is an idea and then we must make it real. Julio Verne is a clear example. He predicted the use of the internet or cell phones back in 1863 in his novel Paris in the Twentieth Century. Even smart cities are a concept that has appeared in sci-fi in the past. Technology is born from a necessity. Once the “problem” is identified, we use technology to find solutions. If no technology exists to solve it, we create it.
Now various neurocomputer interfaces are being developed, and human communications, thanks to Internet services, have already gone far from science fiction. How should virtual reality devices evolve to stop being an attraction? How can they bring real benefit and move humanity forward?
The companies, such as OWO, that are creating groundbreaking technology must assume responsibility for the way things will move forward. We can apply our technology to many different sectors and each of them will benefit. For example, in the case of OWO, we add the sense of touch to video games, the metaverse and movies but we will also add sensations to smart cities, help in military training, or be able to send physical sensations long-distance.
Many VR companies are working to make learning easier, more fun and more effective. Some studies say that the sense of touch is beneficial when learning and remembering. Professional training in VR and having physical repercussions also avoids accidents and makes workers more aware of possible mistakes. These are only some examples, but I could give many more.
Imagine that you are not limited by technology. You have the perfect, as far as possible, virtuality simulator. How will it work? What program would you write for it? What is it for, and what news will it give people?
Well, technology no longer constrains us at OWO. With our haptic system, we can recreate sensations never felt before, which makes any simulator more realistic now. We’ve always wanted the user to be able to “feel” the game, the metaverse, and entertainment at the end of the day, and with OWO they can have that experience.
Are video games dangerous in terms of addiction?
Video games are just a way of entertainment. If playing video games impedes you to fulfill your obligations, it’s an addiction. The same rule applies to watching movies and even going to the gym.
How much time should people spend playing virtual games so as not to lose touch with reality?
That depends on the person. Nothing is good in excess; it’s up to each one to be responsible with their playing time.