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Ultrahaptics, partners with Shinoda & Makino Lab, University of Tokyo, to extend the innovation in mid-air haptics

 Bristol, UK – 3rd May 2016. Experts in mid-air haptic feedback at Ultrahaptics today announced a partnership with the Shinoda & Makino lab of the University of Tokyo to explore new possibilities for exploiting their ultrasound mid-air haptics technology.

Ultrahaptics has created a technology that allows the user to feel virtual objects without touching them, or wearing any special equipment. The effect of a touch sensation, known as haptic feedback, has created a great deal of excitement in the technology industry due to the increased level of engagement offered to the user when interacting with devices and machines. Having over-subscribed its customer evaluation programme in 2015, and raising an A round of funding of £10.1m in November 2015, the company is now supporting the adoption of mid-air haptics in a variety of markets, from automotive through to consumer electronics.

Ultrahaptics with University of Tokyo's Professor Hiroyuki Shinoda

The Ultrahaptics team with University of Tokyo’s Professor Hiroyuki Shinoda

The Shinoda & Makino lab has been exploring mid-air feedback technologies, out of the graduate school of frontier science at the University of Tokyo. Its partnership with Ultrahaptics allows for collaboration and exchange of information. The lab has developed several novel implementations of ultrasound touch technology: prototypes have been demonstrated that add interactive visual feedback to haptic technology in the Haptoclone (haptic & optical clone) project. Haptoclone is a revolutionary interactive system producing haptic and optical clone images in mid-air so that two users, apart from each other, can ‘touch’ each other with unaided eyes and bare hands.

Speaking of the partnership Ultrahaptics CEO, Steve Cliffe, said: “We’re in the perfect position to bring this technology to a market hungry to produce a better, more intuitive, interaction with technology. We’re engaged with key global players in a variety of traditional and novel technology industries. The horizons have just been expanded, bringing together haptics and optics is incredibly exciting for us and this partnership will help us develop a host of new implementations quicker. It brings a wealth of expertise to the possibilities.”

The two organisations will have with first public collaboration at the world’s biggest Computer Human Interaction conference, CHI2016, in San Jose in May 2016. Here they will be joint hosts of a workshop on Mid-Air Haptics and Displays: Systems for Un-Instrumented Mid-Air Interactions.

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