Imagine if you could feel what you see on a touchscreen. If, for example, you could unzip a zipper by drawing your finger down a screen and experiencing that familiar sensation.
That’s the premise behind a Chicago startup called Tanvas, that is using haptics technology to enable users of interactive screens to have genuine touch added to their experiences when using touch technology.
As Greg Topel, the company’s CEO puts it, smartphones have conditioned billions of people to experience information with flat, lifeless pieces of glass. His Tanvas team argues that’s all wrong, and that the sense of touch is critical to real world interactions.
We all order stuff online and wish we could somehow get a sense of things, like the different thread counts of cotton sheets. Using a simple touch overlay on screens, equipped with tech from Tanvas, that would be possible.
I sat down with Topel at InfoComm in Las Vegas, and he explained the roots of the company, commercial plans and most importantly, how this stuff works.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.