Less tact: it's haptic technology and how to apply it in the COVID-19 era


By CAPosts 01 August, 2020 - 01:02am 53 views

Haptic technology, present in virtual reality: the feeling of touching, without touch

The COVID-19 has pushed the world to rethink how touch and proximity in daily interactions can be replaced. Investment in haptic technologies (referring to touch and feeling touching) had increased before the pandemic, for example, adding to the virtual reality experience suits and gloves with sensors for an even more immersive experience. Research and development in the field are not new, they have been new for more than three decades, and in addition, it is presented to us in everyday life, when, for example, a device vibrates.

The san Jose, California, Company has been working in haptic applications ranging from gaming to medicine since 1993. Giants like Sony, Apple, Microsoft, Disney and Facebook have teams working on new haptic products. The global market for touch technologies will be $12.9 billion in 2020 and $40,900 in 2027, according to TechCrunch in an article called "Exaggeration, Haptics' Oversactment and Hope in the COVID-19 Era".

Several companies are today developing software to record movements without the need for contact. From UltraLeap (specialist in haptics) point out that the coronavirus generated the need to continue interacting with touch screens but without touching them. He signed an agreement with the advertising screens and digital posters company CEN, present in theaters in the United States.

It will incorporate an ultrasonic detection technology of the movements of people's hands so that they can interact with the contents of the screens touch, without touching them. Technology tests will be conducted in ten cities.

Some examples

"Haptic interfaces appear as a necessity, perhaps not originally intended, of telemanipulation. To implement effective remote self-management, haptic interfaces appear, which, in the case of a robotic arm, attempt to retrofit the information of the forces at stake in the robotic manipulator's own action (the reaction force of a wall, for example) made the command itself, the interface (a joystick) used by the operator to execute the teleoperation. For this, motors, or vibration systems (similar to those of smartphones) are added to artificially provide that strength," explained to Infobae The Dr. Rodrigo Ramele, professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at ITBA (Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires).

Haptic interfaces are essential for exoskeleton operation, or for assistive devices. "Precisely because these devices have to be integrated as naturally as possible to how the biomechanical mechanism of human control operates, which precisely combines different sensory modalities. For example, a Wearable Walking Helper Device is a weight support device that allows a person who has muscle weakness to walk, supplement that weakness and be able to move," he said.

Ramele continued: "In order for the weight support device to assist the person properly to walk, the person of the contact with the floor must be provided with the balance, since without it the walk could not be executed. Theyal are key in assisted surgeries, such as those performed with the DaVinci Robot, where expert surgeons rely heavily on kinesthetic and tactile information to perceive and identify the different tissues, wherever they cut, where not".

Travel technology application area is gaming. "By operating an avatar in a virtual environment, a more realistic and more immersive scenario is achieved just by providing haptic signals through the controls, such as a joystick like the PlayStation DualShock, which, when firing a weapon in the GTA game, internal engines attempt to simulate the recoil of the real weapon," he added.

The DualSense control that the PlayStation 5 will have haptic technology (Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc)

The DualSense controller that will have the PlayStation console that will arrive at the end of 2020 will have haptic technology, which will allow you to "touch" or "feel" what you are seeing, and it is not something merely new. Vibration, for example, has been present in joysticks from different manufacturers, but in this case it is presented as an even more immersive experience.

The PS5 joystick will have elements that will use haptic technology, such as the R2 and L2 adaptive triggers. They will have different levels and, as the magazine Wired has pointed out in commenting on this innovation, will allow in games such as Astro Bot Rescue Mission generate sensations of walking in the sand, or the resistance of swimming, or the heaviness of walking in the mud.

"In the future any augmented reality development, or virtual reality, will need to develop increasingly accurate haptic interfaces in order to generate a much greater immersion and experience. This will become increasingly emphasized as games increasingly achieve impressive visual realisms," added the ITBA teacher.


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