We are all familiar with wearable gadgets like smart watches and VR goggles. It was less than a couple of decades ago that we started ditching landlines with cellular telephones. Now, wearable tech is being integrated into almost every aspect of our daily life.
One of the main purposes for all these wearables is to enable us to slowly indulge media into our senses using technology. One such product has recently hit out stores is the Woojer Strap Edge. In this review we take a look at what it is and whether it’s the right device for you. Let’s get started!
What is Haptic Feedback?
To understand what this product is and what it does, we would have to first understand the term haptic feedback. What is haptic feedback?
Basically, anyone who has ever owned a mobile phone should be familiar with vibration feedback, even though they might not be familiar with the term. Vibration feedback is the vibrate setting of your phone. In other words, it is that mobile phone rumble that you see and feel whenever you receive messages, notifications, and calls.
If you’re a gamer or have tried gaming on an XBOX or PS console, the vibrations on the controller that occurs when your avatar fires a gun or gets punched in the gut. Regardless of how hard you get punched in the gut; the controller’s vibration feedback reacts with the same intensity. The apparent weakness is that vibration feedback can’t differentiate a light tap on the belly with a spine breaking blow.
Haptic feedback on the other hand, is a different animal altogether. It is designed to simulate what varying intensities would feel like in real life based on the intensity of the input parameters. What it means is that a tap on the belly in a game you are playing, would feel like a tap in the belly when you place a device with haptic feedback on your belly. So, if your game character gets a hard punch in the gut, the haptic feedback device would unleash the same intense reaction to your belly as well. A haptic feedback has a higher ability to detect subtle changes if touch and impact.
Where does the Woojer Strap Edge fit in?
Now that you understand what haptic feedback is, then you can probably guess what the Woojer Strap Edge is meant to do. It is basically wearable device used to immerse the user in both the audible and physical impact of sound.
The sound source could be from movies, TV shows, games and even music. How do you wear it? Think of it like wearing a belt, but instead of it being fastened along your waistline, it can be fastened almost anywhere around your body from the abdomen all the way up to your choice.
The device’s main console could be placed either right in the middle of your chest, in the middle of your abdomen or at your back over the spine. Honestly, it’s down to personal preference. Come to think of it, you can fasten it around your waistline just like a belt.
The device itself weighs at 240 grams and its main body is attached to an adjustable strap can be described as ‘one size fits all’. Out of the box, the Woojer Strap Edge unit comes with a soft pouch, a 3.5 mm audio cable and a USB-C cable.
It has a 3350 mAh, 4.2V battery that needs about 3 hours to charge to reach full battery capacity from the USB-C port. Depending on the volume and haptic sensation settings, the battery can last for up to 8 hours.
For connectivity, there is option of low latency Bluetooth 5.0, a 3.5 mm stereo line in with TRRS (microphone) input support as well as the USB-C audio in. The gist of it all is the haptics specification itself that consist of one patented, powerful, polyphonic, silent Osci haptic transducer with a 1.0 to 200.0 Hz frequency response.
Although it does not include a headphone or earbuds, the Woojer Strap Edge is equipped with a built-in analogue headphone amplifier allowing for 105 mW output into 16-ohm headphones. Songs with a lot of punchy bass, especially EDM and even hip hop, are the kind of songs that really bring the most out the Woojer Strap Edge.
The quality of the headphones that you use will either enhance of reduce the effect of the Woojer Strap Edge towards your overall experience of using this device. You’d need to find the sweet spot where the audio can be heard over the vibrations from the haptics.
On the flip side, if you set your headphones volume too loud just to minimize the sound from the vibrations, you stand a risk of damaging your hearing. Another point to ponder is that in the age of screen taps and swipes, the device interface is not touch sensitive, so it does need a tad bit more pressure when you press on tap on the main controls.
The main control pad in the front of the device has a plus and minus icon that controls the audio volume as well as an up and down arrow icon to control the intensity of the haptic vibrations.
In terms of actual performance as a media immersive experience, the haptics, and the audio work wonderfully well together without any obvious latency issues between audio and haptic intensity especially when using wired headphones.
Wireless headphones that connect to it via Bluetooth might just have tad bit of latency or delay, it all depends on the configurations and the Bluetooth version. The impact of music especially the from the drum and bass sections could really be felt on your body, especially if you set them high. Place the Woojer Strap Edge right on your chest and play a bass-heavy song and it might just take your breath away.
When playing games, especially first-person shooter games, the combination of a VR goggle and the Woojer Strap Edge is very immersive and enjoyable. But depending on the game’s background or ambient noise, it can affect the cohesion of the haptics vibration with the sound.
At times it seems the background audio from the games overpowers the action sounds. This then causes the haptics to continuously vibrate, even when there is not much action happening in the game. All you could be doing in the game is walking casually without shooting anybody and no one shooting back at you. Due to the strong background audio, the device just continuously vibrates in accordance to the background music or ambient sound.
The Woojer Strap Edge is an innovative device and for individuals who really want that immersive media experience. It would basically suit gamers that really want to feel the environment of the games they’re playing in, or audiophiles who walk around listening to music on headphones but want to feel like they’re in the club, or even joggers, runners, cyclists who want to have their body motions synchronize with the music in their ears.
If you are in any one of those categories of people, this might just be the wearable device that you have been dreaming of. But overall, the Woojer Strap Edge is well built, innovatively designed and does exactly what it’s made to do. It’s meant to make you feel the beat and move with it.
J Charles is an experienced writer & has years of experience in the field. She loves writing about new gadgets & wants to get her hands on anything possible. She’s been part of our team since the beginning & if you have any question, email her. ( Shoot her an email now ).