Tactai, a specialist in creating life-like touch for virtual reality (VR), has announced its been awarded the Phase I & II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The funding – which totals over $1,000,000 USD – came from a proposal called: “Touch and feel virtual objects with life-like realism.” Tactai will use the funds to continue development of its Tactai Touch interface and Haptic Object Properties (HOPs) platform.
Tactai developed its own proprietary touch-enabling technology for VR, recreating how users perceive the presence of objects and their surface characteristics. The company has already released a developer kit comprising Tactai Touch Controller which has legacy buttons and a joystick, Tactai Touch Wearable with no buttons, Tactai Touch plugin and license for use with one instance of Unity, and the Tactai HOPs SDK, a library of common surface textures used for control interactions and basic touch experiences
“It’s exciting to see the researchers and reviewers at NSF share our assessment of the potential impact that our technology can have for the new immersive computing paradigm”, said Steven D. Domenikos, founder and CEO, Tactai Inc. “There is not a single area of human expression where touch is not essential. The opportunity to introduce for the first time a commercial product that brings sense of natural touch into the digital world, will enable powerful new experiences and change the current paradigms of human-machine interaction.”
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Tactai, reporting back with further developments.