16 November 2003
Ok, so how do you increase your immersive experience of racing simulations? Force feedback steering wheel? New sound system? How about actually feeling as if you are driving in the car? Ok, it may sound odd but there is company called VRF Corp. who have released a "force feedback seat" called the TFS2 which does exactly this.
SimRacingWorld was lucky enough to be sent the TFS2, which stands for the "Tactile Feedback System version 2.0" along with the new Grand Prix 4 intelliVIBE® "module" (more on that later).
So, What Is It?
So what exactly is the Tactical Feedback System, or TFS2 for short?
TThe TFS2 is a two part system, comprised by the TFS2 Electronic Controller, and the TFSU “Tactile Feedback Seating Unit”, which combine together to form the complete TFS Tactile Feedback System. Put simply, the TFS2 Electronic Controller (which you can see a picture of below), is the "brain" of the system which generates the force feedback sensations you feel through the TFSU seating unit.
When you open the package you will expect to see the following items:
- The TFS2 Electronic Controller
- The TFSU Tactile Feedback Seating Unit
- All necessary cables
- A universal input power supply
- A link to download the software & drivers, and PDF Owner's Manual
How Does It Work?
The TFS2 system can work with every game or simulation you already own via something called AudioSense®. This is what they call the “universal compatibility mode” because it works with everything that has sound effects.
AudioSense works through the TFS2 Electronic Controller by plugging it into your sound system. When you rig up the TFS2, you will notice one cable serves as a splitter for the cable from your sound card - with one end going to the speakers, and the other going to the TFS2 Electronic Controller. AudioSense works in the way its name suggests; it detects sound effects and converts them into feedback effects that you feel through the seating unit.
While AudioSense works with everything, the TFS2 also makes use of intelliVIBE, which is a game-specific module-based technology (that is, each game or sim ideally gets its own intellivibe “module”). For intelliVIBE to be enabled, it requires some direct support by the game or simulation in question. This works by having code support for intelliVIBE put into specific games which the TFS Electronic Controller detects and interprets, and of course results in feedback through the seating unit that you feel.
There is even a mode of operation called “Universal intelliVIBE” which uses AudioSense and intelliVIBE together if there is no direct support for the game or sim in question - but, for Grand Prix 4, we have an intelliVIBE module that was made specifically for Grand Prix 4.