Much of the appeal of virtual reality (VR) revolves around the ability to feel like you are truly present in a space. The move from traditional joypads to motion controllers like the Oculus touch have enhanced that, but are still limited in many ways. Heather Tait of Ultrahaptics things that haptics are the way forward.
Ultrahaptics are a company based in Bristol, UK who are aiming to make VR environments much more real by allowing users to truly feel their environment and interact with it purely through touch, pushing, pulling and grabbing with no buttons or touch pads required.
The company has been working with Meta and ZeroLight to produce a mixed reality experience that lets a user touch a car that is in front of them in augmented reality (AR) and feel the vibrations as the car revs its engine. The car then disassembles itself and each component can be individually explored and handled.
Tait said: “There are so many control technologies, gesture recognition is becoming huge, the ability to control anything from mid air and touch anything without having to interface a 2D piece of glass. What we’re able to is give you that sense of touch when you’re dealing with 3D objects.”
A number of big companies such as Bosch and IBM have already begun working with Ultrahaptics to incorporate the haptics gesture control technology into their products, such as the Bosch concept car.
The first product to make it to market with Ultrahaptics technology contained within is a casino gambling machine which lets users see 3D objects coming out at them, and provides tactile feedback such as feeling coins coming out, or when the user gets a bonus.
“What we want for this year is more of our customers getting their products to market so customers can try them In their everyday lives.” Tait said.
The video interview is available to view below. Keep checking back with VRFocus for more news and interviews from the VR industry.