Anuja Bagul, Material ConneXion’s Senior Material Scientist, New Technologies, recently spoke at the Smart Haptics conference on the subject of Moving Towards the Materiality of Experiences: Haptics. Read on for some of Anuja’s key takeaways from this innovative, exciting conference!
I recently spoke at the Smart Haptics conference on behalf of Material ConneXion on the subject of Moving Towards the Materiality of Experiences: Haptics.
Haptics offer a chance to change the way in which humans connect with technology on a revolutionary scale, bringing intelligence to the physical experience of touch and contact – the power to humanize technology. In this talk, I addressed the pivotal role touch has in communicating feelings and information, bridging the gap lost in the digital age and addressing how touch can increase consumer engagement and, in turn, brand loyalty, not only through enhanced product offerings but also through experiences.
At present, brands have distinct logos, color schemes, and design aesthetics. But, in the near future, brands will have distinct tactile experiences, leading to the ownership of tactility. Similar to images, the era of copyrightable textures is not far off.
Finally, I presented the ways in which consumers equate certain surfaces with emotional experiences and showed how touch, for many brands, is as important as color or function.
Although in its first year, the conference did a great job in covering a wide array of topics, and discussing incorporation of these technologies for human-machine interface (HMI) systems in the medical, consumer electronics, automotive (including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)), and advertising sectors. It was impressive to see the leaps companies such as Tanvas, Immersion Corp., Ultrahaptics, TDK Corporation, and Alps Electric are making in the haptics field.
Unlike conventional beliefs, haptic technologies are more than just vibrational responses as exhibited by some current products, such as Fitbit and the Apple watch.
Use of Tanvas’ technology by MediaCom to produce a successful campaign for Gillette to get millennials to shave was an interesting use of haptic waveforms that produce life-like effects.
Ultrahaptics, on the other hand, spoke about their capabilities to create mid-air haptics using an ultrasonic speaker array. They spoke about many projects, one of which was with Dell, Meta, and Nike, to showcase the FUTURE OF DESIGN, where Ultrahaptics created an immersive workspace using augmented reality gesture recognition and mid-air haptics.
Alps Electric is working on a technology that will enable the user to feel a sensation, such as change in weight and temperature, within virtual reality. This technology is under wraps, but will be launching soon at CES 2018.
Material ConneXion is always on the hunt for the next big thing, making sure we stay at the forefront of material innovation and new technologies. We look forward to the continued developments in the materiality of experiences and the repository the field of haptics can provide, making it the internet of tactility!