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Haptics specialist Ultrahaptics launches Academic Program to grow research network

Ultrahaptics, the leading mid-air haptics company, has announced the official launch of its Academic Program. The scheme is designed to support academic research groups around the world in exploring and developing, haptic interfaces and experiences using focused ultrasound.

Ultrahaptics has developed an innovative technology that creates the sense of touch in mid-air, through the use of modulated ultrasound. Users are able to feel virtual objects, shapes, switches and buttons. Uses for the technology are being realised in automotive applications, VR, AR and industrial controls.

Academic partners, working with Ultrahaptics, have already created a range of haptic effects using the firm’s core technology. In 2015, The TATE Sensorium, which was presented by creative agency FlyingObject, brought mid-air haptics to the experience of viewing art. Another project, in 2016, saw University of Sussex researchers create the so called ‘9D TV’ a viewing experience which included stimulants on the sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell and, using Ultrahaptics technology, touch. The firm has also forged links with both MIT and the University of Tokyo.

MIT haptics image

A student at MIT experiments with Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptics Development Kit

Speaking of the launch of the Academic Program, Chief Technical Officer, Tom Carter said: “The launch of this program represents our commitment to developing new, novel, use cases for our technology at the forefront of haptics research. There is an incredible volume and quality of work going on in haptics in labs around the world right now, and I certainly subscribe to the ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ metaphor: we are keen to enable, build and develop upon a bank of knowledge already out there. The Academic Program represents the team’s commitment to work collaboratively with these organisations to explore the full potential of what haptics can bring to how we interact.”

Program Manager, Orestis Georgiou, added: “It’s great to be working with such diverse research teams and Universities around the world committed to furthering insight into haptics and ultrasound technology. I am excited about this opportunity to accelerate investments into R&D and create a vibrant community of experts collaborating, sharing insights and driving innovation in this space.”

Ultrahaptics founders: Tom Carter, Dr Sriram Subramanian, Dr Ben Long.

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