Future of haptic technology
The way our senses interact distinguishes the physical from the virtual world. Perhaps we can see the virtual world or hear it, but how do we taste, smell or feel? Haptics come in here. Haptic technology allows us to feel the virtual world in ways beyond the everyday experience of a virtual or increased reality headset.
What does haptic technology mean?
Haptic technology, also known as kinesthetic communication or 3D Touch, uses movement that a user feels through Touch as a part of a GUI, electronically or mechanically generated.
The word haptic refers to the sensation of contact, which people feel when they touch an object. Technically, haptic refers to Touch’s feeling by feedback technologies during computer interactions. Computer feedback is in the form of vibrations, force, and motion. This improves user experience in computer-simulated scenarios.
Haptic technology combines the human component with the computer part. The machine part comprises sensors, actuators, processors, real-time algorithms, application program interface, and end-effectors. The computer acts like the whole system’s brain and gives appropriate orders through the end effector to the human part.
Distinguishing between haptic and 3d Touch
By pressing in a suitable spot, Haptic Touch can be used until you feel the little haptic pop with your finger and a secondary menu appears, with content depending on where you use the function. A simple tap will activate one of the pop-up secondary menu options.
3D Touch embraces different pressure levels so that you can do one thing with a softer press and another thing with a hard press. For example, Apple used multiple levels of pressure for movements of “Peek and Pop.”
On a 3D touch screen, you might see a preview by “Peek” in a web connection and press it hard to pop in and open it in Safari, for example. These secondary “pop” movements are not possible with Haptic Touch because it is a single press level rather than multiple pressing levels.
Haptic technology provides tactile feedback and perceptions on immersive 3D applications, incorporating physiological and emotional stimuli through one or more actuators. In task completion events, hovering effects, alert messages, and illusory sensations, the user may also receive Haptic meaningful information.
Usage of Haptic technology
The use of haptic technology is not new for the industry; however, earlier, its adoption was minimal, and the technology was mainly used as telemanipulation systems. The technology was very costly, and hence, it was utilized for critical applications, such as handling radioactive materials. The first (known) force-reflecting robotic manipulators were used at the Argonne National Lab, US, in 1954, wherein the haptic technology was based on a master-slave telemanipulation system.
Generations of Haptic Technology
Over the years, haptic technology has revolutionized. First-generation haptic systems, such as vibratory motors, use electromagnetic technology to provide feedback on their resonance function. The input from devices (mainly vibration) was restricted because it was given to the entire system rather than a touch/point or position on the device.
In the last century, haptic systems’ limits were overcome as these devices provided “touch-coordinated responses.” The use of electrostatic, piezoelectric, electrostatic, and subsonic audio waves enhanced the action technology in second-generation haptic devices, enabling a point/touch response.
In the third generation, haptic technology provided both touch-based and personalized haptic reactions. Customized haptic effects were significant in the multi-touch environment whereby the haptic system should recognize and calculate the required feedback effect when multiple inputs are given. The haptic effect’s personalization was done by various actuators linked through a low latency network. While haptic technology in the fourth generation allowed for a pressure-sensitive haptic reaction, it enabled haptic devices to use and measure the user’s strength while offering haptic feedback. The interface supplied multi-level input based on the user’s power. Most of this technology has been used in surface haptics. The future generation of haptic technology would remove physical devices’ need to virtual sensor objects. The technology can manipulate the user’s ultrasound waves.
Future of Haptic technology
Virtual reality technology’s continuous sophistication can be traced to haptic interfaces’ improvements. Haptic offers VR real-world immersion and interaction and complements its functionality through a life-life experience.
Wearable haptics could play a significant role in product design and development activities, for example, product ergonomics, process ergonomics, and assembly and disassembly (A/D) simulation. Wearable haptic technology for such tasks gives the product profound working skills. This reduces the need for multiple physical product prototyping.
The wearable haptic systems may also benefit from industrial training processes. Such training provides users with a secure, offline environment with a living experience. It also raises the user’s safety risks and eliminates concern about the harm caused by operator error to a high-value product. Thus, haptic technology in wearable haptics converges with virtual reality and offers the industrial sector countless benefits. Some areas in which wearable haptics can play an essential role in industrial training processes are described as follows:
- Training in safety
- Training for maintenance
- Mechanical workout
- Training in industrial machining
- Training in material handling equipment
- Training process and operations
- Training on the assembly line
Wearable industrial sector haptics
The haptic technology is widely used and accepted, particularly in the gaming industry, but has gradually begun to go into the industry. This is because of the shortcomings of haptic technology in industrial applications. Current complexities such as virtual modeling and manufacturing machinery rendering are the main reasons it is slowly adopted in the industrial sector. However, research and development efforts on wearable haptics are in progress for industrial applications. A number of the major companies currently working on wearable haptics are Valkyrie Industries, Exiii Inc., HaptX Inc., Go Touch VR, etc.