The sense of touch is indispensable!
Imagine life without skin sensation compared to not seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting. Human evolution made touch a powerful, persuasive nonverbal channel of communication that uniquely informs people of an object’s shape, position, texture, softness, weight, and temperature.
Moreover, people often touch for the pleasure and fun of touching, like for example to enjoy the texture of paper, silkiness of soft fabric, or luxuriousness of a car seat’s leather.
Haptics is the “language of touch”
It’s the subsystem of non-language communication that conveys meaning through physical contact. It is the perception of objects by touch and proprioception, especially as involved in nonverbal communication.
Today’s most common haptic digital experiences are vibrations provided by smartphones and displays like those in automobiles and home appliances. While helpful and often pleasant, these haptic experiences are very limited and they are not inspired from real life.
But we are already seeing great progress toward delivering the haptic realism that will enrich virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, and other immersive digital experiences. Two recent examples are the haptics of the PS5 Dualsense and the high-definition (HD) haptic actuators beginning to appear in the market such as the Nanoport TacHammer or the SenseGlove DK1.
SynTouch & Interhaptics, the perfect match
Along this path of progress, Interhaptics (Paris, France) and SynTouch Inc. (Los Angeles, California) are partnering to empower creators of digital experiences to deliver haptics experiences inspired by reality without asking them to become haptics experts.
Specifically, the Interhaptics Haptic Composer will embed SynTouch’s Toccare® Haptics Profiles for many materials and surfaces. A creator using the Haptic Composer will define a virtual surface to be, for example, glass simply by referencing the Toccare Haptics Profiles for glass. Consumer will “Feel” a touch feedback inspired by the realistic touch feedback of Glass.
The Haptic Composer is an easy-to-use software tool that allows the creation in minutes instead of hours of high-quality haptics experiences that interoperate across haptic-enabled platforms. It allows creating high-fidelity haptic content, fully supported on powerful actuators like the Nanoport TacHammer. It also renders multiple high-fidelity haptic perceptions on the SenseGlove DK1 haptic device. Finally, it is optimized for deployment through any device available thanks to the Interhaptics Engine.
Similar to how RGB values describe colors, the 15 haptic dimensions of the Toccare Haptics Profiles uniquely quantify and communicate exactly how humans tactilely perceive materials and surfaces. That is, they are the “language of touch” needed to deliver realistic, replicable haptic experiences. The Toccare profiles were developed with extensive psychophysics research and validated with thousands of materials and surfaces to ensure conformance with human perception.
Toccare Haptics Profiles are produced by the Toccare Haptics Measurement System, a highly sensitive instrument that biomimetically reproduces how human fingers sense, explore and move. If a finger can feel it, the Toccare system can measure it.https://www.interhaptics.com/media/0274802b95c1465f64d1131f41a7f50f
Richard Koffler, CEO of SynTouch, comments that “our partnership with Interhaptics is perfectly aligned with our mission to bring scientific certainty to the sense of human-like touch in the digital world. We do this with both the Toccare Haptics Profiles and our BioTac® and NumaTac® tactile sensors for robotic and prosthetic-hand applications.”
Interhaptics specializes in software that allows creators of virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), mobile, augmented reality (AR), and console applications to easily and inexpensively develop and deliver high-quality haptic experiences. Interhaptics’ mission is to enable the growth of a scalable haptics ecosystem and strives to deliver top-notch development tools for the VR/MR/AR, mobile, and console developer community, as well as the interoperability of haptic-enabled content across any haptic-enabled platforms.
Eric Vezzoli, CEO of Interhaptics, sees that “Syntouch is a pioneer in quantifying virtual tactile experiences. Their precise data that conforms with the haptics of real-world materials will help us empower creators interested in delivering realistic haptics experiences efficiently and with minimal effort.”
Contact Interhaptics & SynTouch to integrate haptic feedback, & ready-made realistic haptic signals here.