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What the Future Holds for the Haptics Market with James Hayward (Haptics Club #6)

The Haptics club is an Open community about #Haptics. Founded by members of Unity, Interhaptics, Senseglove, and Nanoport. An event every other week with speakers from various industries and academia.

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Who are James Hayward and IDTechEx?

James Hayward is a Principal Analyst at IDTechEx. Since 1999, IDTechEx has provided independent market research, business intelligence, and events on emerging technologies to clients in 80 countries. The aim is to help their clients make strategic business decisions and grow their organizations. This means that he is responsible for scouting, quantifying, and characterizing markets and technologies and how they are evolving. He started as an analyst of electronic components and then studied projects around haptics integration for displays around 2014–2015. After that, he became interested in this niche area and what is happening in this market.

What are the biggest trends of the haptics market?

The key aspect is to look at trends in different areas:

  • Hardware: which types of actuators are becoming more popular, the types of sensations they are enabling, and how that represents an opportunity for the market
  • Integration: core haptics, how haptic feedback is integrated into the actuators, multiple actuators within one device, mechanical buttons replaced with haptics
  • Surface haptics: display with a touch screen, how touch feedback can be replicated to transmit a certain type of feedback

What are the current ways to keep yourself updated on the haptics market and industry?

Until recently, it was quite difficult to find information, for example, as a podcast. It is important to listen to experts, even if you do not understand everything they are saying, to get to know the acronyms, the vocabulary, etc. Demos are also a very efficient way to get insights if you have the opportunity to see one. Of course, the pandemic has affected how to describe and showcase haptics, but it is important to try and stay in contact with the field as much as possible.

What were some of the biggest founds from your research in haptics?

There are two sides to the challenge. First to collect the information, and second for the developers to get these products into the market. For the newer type of actuator, it’s particularly important to manage how quickly they can be scaled and to keep margins in line. It is really easy to get caught in the enthusiasm of this research because it is a field with very fast and wide-ranging innovations. However, it is important to keep in mind the actual objective: to create competitive actuators and provide the awaited haptic feedback to people.

Could you give some advice to someone willing to start a business in the haptics field?

James Hayward believes one of the key aspects is understanding the value chain. Because no company can do all of the haptics. It is important to identify your allies, suppliers, and competitors to know exactly where you are in the value chain and the existing partner ecosystem.

The future of haptics

According to James Hayward, 2021 is a critical year for innovation in the haptics field because of the new releases.

One of the key challenges is smartphones. The growth in smartphone sales is now insufficient, so there will need to be more focus on the quality of haptic feedback in smartphones. It will also be crucial to catching the improvements in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

Who is the Haptics Club?

The Haptics Club was founded by Manuel Sainsily from Unity, Ashley Huffman from Nanoport, Gijs den Butter and Irina Tripapina from Senseglove, and Eric Vezzoli and Sarah Alkibsy from Interhaptics.

Follow the Haptics Club on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay updated with the next events.

Who is Interhaptics?

Interhaptics is a software company specialized in haptics. Interhaptics provides hand interactions and haptic feedback development and deployment tools for virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), mobile, augmented reality (AR), and console applications. Interhaptics’ mission is to enable the growth of a scalable haptics ecosystem. Interhaptics strives to deliver top-notch development tools for the VR/MR/AR, mobile, and console developer community, and the interoperability of haptics-enabled content across any haptics-enabled platform.