14 Apr Three ways haptics are changing technology
Haptic technology is arguably one of the most rapidly evolving technologies today. From smart homes and automotives to healthcare and robotics, the technology can be found everywhere.
Haptic is the use of tactile sensations – such as vibrations, motions, and other forces – to simulate the sense of touch. It has been around for decades, having started life in devices like video game controllers to offer a more immersive user experience. But the technology’s potential is limitless (see: Jeff Bezos giving the thumbs up to haptic-controlled robotics at Amazon’s re:Mars event back in February).
Here are three more ways it is changing the world as we know it:
Laptops, tablets and displays
With consumer device manufacturers struggling to innovate and differentiate, haptic touch could provide the solution. It is currently paving the way for innovative new laptop designs. Aito is one company using haptic touchpads to offer a more seamless design that not only enhances the user experiences but reduces power consumption and increases durability.
Wearables are often associated with fitness-tracking products like Fitbits and Apple Watches, but wearable haptics are helping improve health outcomes. For instance, it can provide sensory feedback to alleviate age-related impairments, while haptic exoskeletons aid the movement of a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Haptics are also improving accessibility. Companies can create virtual objects that visually disabled people can interact with, gauging the appearance via touch-based sensory input. The Touching Masterpieces exhibition in Prague is a recent example. 3D models were created from laser scans of the original sculptures and the user wore haptic gloves which helped them ‘see’ the detail they were feeling in VR.
The haptic roadmap
Haptics may have been around for some time now, but the past few years has seen exponential growth, with the global market predicted to grow at a compounded growth rate of 12 percent by 2026. Its widespread application has meant it is no longer considered a video game gimmick. The technology has permeated across industries, as companies look to offer enhanced and more meaningful products and user experiences for all.