Spooky Haptics Tech - Halloween Edition
All Things Haptics Newsletter October Round-up
Welcome to the Halloween edition of the All Things Haptics Newsletter.
It’s the perfect time to celebrate all things scary, strange, and terrifying, which perfectly describes some haptics technologies. Some are on the fringe of spooky, and others may be straight-up torture devices.
One of the eeriest things about the haptics industry is that it’ll give you a severe case of Deja Vu. If you go back in time, say 20 years, you’ll find academia talking about the same use cases you’re seeing in consumer products today.
With that said, let’s jump right in!
🔌 Probing, Electrifying and Experimenting - “Touch” officially turned into haptics around 1892 after an extensive period of probing / scientific research. This includes inventions like the one below image called “Apparatus for Simultaneous Touches,” which is a creation by Wiliam Krohn.
👻 Shock Yourself For Fun - The objective of this arcade game is to be the last to let go of the metal bars, which vibrate in increasing frequency giving the player the perception that they’re being shocked. By reactions alone, they really think they’re being electrocuted. (David Dobedoe)
⚡ Shocking Users into Submission - This tech is designed to elicit muscle stimulation and phsycial movement using electricity. The video below from Inverse shows how this tech can be used to create surfaces like walls in VR. In another study via Research Gate, the tech is referred to as ElectroCutscenes.
✋ Pulsating Haptic Skin - Omnipulse is a haptic tech made using embedded pneumatic actuators. Created by Cornell’s Organic Robotics Lab, it could very well be featured in a horror movie today. (Road to VR)
🌎 Earthquake Paranoia - Not for the faint at heart, Earthshaker! is designed to rumble like the California fault lines. When you least expect it, of course. Made by Williams Electronics 1989, it is said to be the first pinball machine with haptic feedback. It had a fun commercial slogan of "It's a Moving Experience!” (Wikipedia)
👽 Aliens Trying to Escape from Within- The surface of the device consists of a flat, deformable layer of hollow silicone cells filled with coffee grounds. It selectively solidifies in different regions when the air is vacuumed out of individual cells, jamming the coffee particles together. So cool and yet so very terrifying. (IEEE Explore)
🧤 Glove Will Burn, Freeze, and Shock - Called PowerClaw, this haptic glove was designed to let you feel things like cold and heat. Unfortunately, the Indiegogo campaign was canceled. Perhaps too ahead of its time, it would have been great for training and immersion. (Road to VR)
🏠 Haptics Haunted House - Just when you thought a haunted house couldn’t get worse, Purdue University and haptician legend Dr. Hong Z. Tan got involved. They ran a study on the use of haptics for immersion by including a haptics display and seating in a spooky experience. (YouTube)
Latest Haptics News
🕹️ Grenade Meets Joystick - The X-Ring uses radially expanding layers to create 3D surfaces. You can grip to feel and squeeze to break things. This was a project created as part of the Microsoft Research program. (Programs.sigchi.org)
🏆 Haptics-inspired VR Experience Wins Big - The animation "Beat" won the award in the animation category of the "VIFF Immersed 2021" category at the 40th Vancouver International Film Festival. (Port.Creww.me)
🦾 HaptX and Haption Partner - Announced today, the haptic glove maker and force feedback expert are partnering to “accelerate commercialization of full-body haptics.” Known for the infamous Jess Bezos robot GIF (shown here), we can only hope things get even more Iron Man-like. (Website)
🎮 Sony PS Controller Joystick - This is purely in the speculation category as a forewarning. A newly released patent by Sony Interactive was published this month showing a joystick with a force feedback motion. (Patently Apple)
🥊 $5000 Haptic Gloves - Senseglove has begun shipping its super ultra-high-end VR gloves. Called Nova, it can deliver up to 20N of force per finger and enables users to “pick up and hold various objects to gauge their shape, texture, stiffness.” (VR Focus)
🎧 Haptics Headphones - Razer just released its latest edition of Kraken headsets, featuring Lofelt haptics. The V3s let you tweak the haptic experience, so you can adapt to whatever you’re doing; gaming, movies, or music. (Tom’s Hardware)
🎮 SteamDeck Leak on Haptics - Also in the speculation bucket of news is a leak about the SteamDeck. The Steamdeck is reportedly using two LRA motors under each trackpad, and “Don’t expect it to feel like Sony’s DualSense haptics or Nintendo’s HD Rumble.” (Gaming Bolt)
🧪 Chemical Haptics Chat - November 4, 2021, at 12:00 pm on Twitter Spaces. Special guests Jasmine Lu and Jas Brooks are talking about how haptics can convey haptic effects. Straight out of science fiction! RSVP here.
⚔️ Haptics Challenge - bHaptics has a contest running from October 13-31, 2021 to challenge users to build haptics for games using their new app. (Twitter)
🎃 Halloween - October 31, 2021 - This is just a reminder to the folks who haven’t gotten their costume yet. It’s not too late to dress up as your favorite Haptics designer (Haptician).
⭐ AWE2021 USA - November 9-11, 2021 - Join me in Santa Clara, CA, or online for a haptics panel where we’ll talk about what every person in augmented reality needs to know about haptics. (Website) (Haptics Panel)
📅 Smart Haptics 2021 - On December 1-2, 2021, in San Diego, CA, is a haptics industry event where you’ll find most of the major haptics players in the space. This year the discussion will be around trends and industry standards. My team will be there, so be sure to ping me. (Smart Haptics website)
📚 IEEE Haptics Symposium 2022 - On March 21-24, 2022, in Santa Barbara, California, the IEEE Haptics Symposium will take place in person. As an academic and industry-focused event, topics range from neuroscience, perception, engineering, and design. (Website)
In Case You Missed It:
📍 Haptics Club on Spatial Haptic Textures - On October 21, 2021, special guest Yasemin Vardar talked about spatial haptic textures. Check out a blog post I wrote, and you can find the podcast on major platforms here.
😲 UIST2021 Live Demos - On October 10-14, 2021, the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) was held, as a forum for innovations in human-computer interfaces. (Watch on YouTube) (Website)
That’s it for now!
You may not be dressing up as your favorite haptician for Halloween, but I’m sure they’d love to know how much you appreciate them. In an upcoming edition, I’ll share profiles of some of the indstury’s greatest minds and leaders.
One of the goals of this newsletter is to get more people informed and excited about the haptics industry. Please feel free to share this with other folks in your network.
Miss the last edition? You can check it out: