A UK company has released a plug and play device that allows digital signage and interactive solutions companies to easily develop immersive screen projects that use haptics technology.
The new STRATOS Inspire uses arrays of ultrasonic transducers to project haptic feedback directly onto users’ hands, creating the sense of touch in mid-air.
Ultrahaptics‘ patented technology controls and manipulates ultrasonic waves so that the combined pressure of the waves produce enough force to be felt on a user’s skin. 3D shapes and buttons can be felt, but not seen.
So someone could stand in front of, let’s say, a digital poster for a new movie and do something that ties in with some aspect of the movie, actually feeling like they are using controls without really touching anything.
The STRATOS Inspire, says a press release, has been created for businesses and design agencies wanting to create more immersive and engaging digital experiences and touchpoints by adding tactile sensations (haptics). Designed for applications such as digital signage, location-based entertainment or interactive touch displays and interfaces, the STRATOS Inspire is a ready-made module to evaluate the benefits of mid-air haptics without the additional need to develop bespoke hardware. STRATOS Inspire is engineered for use in public displays and exhibits without supervision and is independently certified compliant with international safety and electrical standards (CE for Europe, FCC & NRTL for North America and PSE for Japan).
The company has publicly demonstrated its technology in applications including augmented and virtual reality, digital signage and location-based entertainment, including collaborations with worldwide brands such as Dell, Coca-Cola and Pagani. IGT, the leader in gaming machines, integrated Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptics technology in its 4D range, launched globally in October 2017.
They were waaaaay at the back of DSE back in March, and I tried it out. Pretty interesting. It works on focused ultrasound waves.
“The STRATOS Inspire is the ideal plug-and-play system that allows customers to easily test the benefits of mid-air haptics for their applications or concepts in live environments,” says Platforms Product Manager Charlie Alexander. “What makes the Inspire such a great solution is that there is no need to develop custom hardware, saving time and cost. The system is designed for simple integration into a customer application aiding a fast delivery to market. The STRATOS Inspire is designed to be splash and scratch resistant, making it suitable for use in public spaces.”
The device looks a bit like a bluetooth speaker or smallish keyboard, and would sit below and slightly in front of a screen.
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.