Menu

The Process to Design Haptics: Integration Workflow

This article was extracted from the Recommended Practices for Haptics in Enterprise VR published by the Haptics Industry Forum.

This article will cover the workflow that product managers should follow when considering haptics within their VR application. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is the objective of the haptics implementation within the product. This objective should drive the implementation of all the scenarios. Workflows can be divided into two parts:

  • First, the implementation of a custom scenario including haptics in the design phase.
  • Second, the upgrade of an existing scenario with haptics.

Custom Scenario

A custom scenario refers to the complete creation of a haptics use case from scratch. In this case, haptics is included in the design phase, and the scenario can maximize the value of this technology for the specific use case.

Use case and haptics objectives

In this phase, the objectives of the use case are clearly defined. One of the key aspects is to define the haptics objectives following the structure shared within the use case description. For example, developing haptics to enhance realism might prevent us from leveraging the same technology to increase user experience. It is similar to VR graphic content: maximum scenario realism might prevent portability on standalone headsets. The best advice is to focus on a subset of objectives and measure the success of implementing these metrics.

Scenario definition

Document and clarify the scenario expectations for the final user starting from the use case objectives. In this phase, the haptics objectives are translated in the scenario as haptics descriptions for the specific interactions or events.

Key decision to perform or documents to deliver:

  • Use case scenario

General requirements

In this stage, the scenario is translated into a budget and technical requirements to meet the use case expectations.

Key decision or documents to deliver:

  • Budget definition
  • High-level technical requirements

The development environment and hardware device choice

Choice of the development environment and hardware (HW) device. The implementation of haptics within VR content is maturing rapidly. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the HW capabilities and the development environment to ensure the success of the use case. Virtual reality HW and development environments are pretty much interchangeable. However, that is not yet the case in haptics, even if efforts in that direction are being pursued.

Key decision to be delivered:

  • Development environment/3D engines choice (Unity, Unreal, others)
  • Haptics design/development framework choice
  • VR hardware choice
  • Haptics hardware choice

Software architecture

Technical document with the software architecture of the final solution.

Key decisions or documents to be delivered:

  • Build or Buy
  • Architecture document

3D Design and haptics iterative process

The implementation of the interactive case happens at this stage. 3D models, colliders, interactions, and haptics go through an iterative process to optimize the final result based on the use case and haptics objectives.

Multimodal integration

Here, visual and sound design happens. Both are built in parallel to the interactive scenario to deliver the final experience.

QA

Review and testing of the experience.

User/Customer evaluation

Presentation of the final result to the customer.

Existing Product

This is referring to the upgrade of an existing VR product to a haptics experience.

Haptics objectives

In this initial phase, the objective of the upgrade to a haptics experience should be clarified and stated based on the framework of the use cases reported in the document.

General requirements

In this stage, the scenario is translated into a budget and technical requirements to meet the use case expectations.

Key decisions or documents to deliver:

  • Budget definition
  • High-level technical requirements

Hardware device choice

The implementation of haptics within VR content is maturing rapidly. However, it is important to dedicate a careful evaluation of HW capabilities and the development environment to ensure the success of the use case. Virtual reality hardware and development environments are pretty much interchangeable. However, this is not yet the case in haptics, even if efforts in that direction are being pursued.

Key decision to be delivered:

  • VR hardware choice
  • Haptics hardware choice

Architecture and input

The architecture/development analysis is a necessary study to validate that the chosen haptics device fits within the product framework. The input system evaluation and adaptation are needed to upgrade logical input mediated by controller buttons, with hand/finger tracking input mediated by software metaphors or physics engines. It should be noted that haptics devices relying only on output such as Woojer or others do not require the input analysis activity because they do not replace the input system of the product.

Key decision to be delivered:

  • Build or Buy
  • Haptics/Interaction development framework choice

3D Design and haptics iterative process

The implementation of the interactive case happens at this stage. 3D models, colliders, interactions, and haptics go through an iterative process to optimize the final result based on the use case and haptics objectives.

QA

Review and testing of the experience.

User/Customer evaluation

Presentation of the final result to the customer.

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.

If you are interested in designing high-fidelity haptics or integrating haptic feedback to your virtual reality (VR) project, download Interhaptics Haptics for VR and MR. To collaborate with Interhaptics on your AR/VR/MR project, you can contact us.