Touching The Future of Augmented Reality

A collaboration between Meta, Ultrahaptics and ZeroLight demonstrates a new way for AR objects to be interacted with.

Augmented Reality (AR), for the most part, tends to be restricted to one sense – vision. It acts as an overlay on the real world, changing how it looks, but not how it feels. That might be about to change thanks to a partnership between Ultrahaptics, ZeroLight and Meta.

The three companies have worked together to create technology that encompasses three of the five senses in order to create a more involving and immersive form of AR. The proof-of-concept technology will be demonstrated to visitors at CES 2018.

The AR experience at CES 2018 allows visitors to don a Meta 2 AR development kit and explore a virtual recreation of a Pagani Huaya roadster hypercar. The car is set within a real-world environment, but users of the AR experience can configure the car, take it apart to see its components up close, and even feel the powerful vibrations of its V12 AMG engine using haptic feedback.

“Touch is intrinsic to our understanding of the world and how we interact with it. This shouldn’t be lost when we interact with digital media and virtual objects,” said Anders Hakfelt, vice president, product and marketing, Ultrahaptics. “Ultrahaptics uses ultrasound to create tactile feedback on the hand, allowing you to explore and manipulate virtual objects and react to tactile cues without inhibiting natural movement. By stimulating contact with digital models, we can amplify the overall impact and response of each digital interaction.”

“The vision behind Meta is to deliver a machine that acts as an extension of the body, allowing us to intuitively create, communicate and collaborate in a natural way,” said David Oh, head of developer relations for Meta. “We are working closely with our partners using the Meta 2 Development Kit to deliver such experiences through augmented reality today, while defining what the future of computing will look like in the years to come.”

“Brands are continuing to reinvent the way they engage customers through digital experiences. ZeroLight’s high fidelity visualisation software harnesses the full potential of cutting-edge hardware, bringing products to life in stunning detail through cohesive, personal experiences. Such quality enables the clear perception and understanding of virtual vehicles, allowing for more informed decision making,” said Joseph Artgole, associate marketing director, ZeroLight.

There will be a VRFocus presence at CES 2018, bringing you all the latest news and hands-on reports from the show floor.

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