Dimenco: Creating XR without wearables or controllers
How KDX subsidiary Dimenco integrated mid-air haptics into the Simulated Reality project to create rich 3D experiences without wearables or controllers.
“The presence of touch is extremely important in interacting with virtual objects. Just like in real life, you want to feel an object while interacting with it.”
Maarten Tobias, CEO of Dimenco
Dimenco’s Simulated Reality project is Extended Reality (XR) without the need for wearables and handheld controllers. It uses latest-generation 8K display technology, spatial sound and integrated sensor technology to create fully immersive, holographic-like 3D images you can see, reach out and interact with.
Dimenco started creating the first development kit for their Simulated Reality project in mid-2018 for launch at CES 2019. They knew that any fully immersive experience would have to integrate all the senses. They also knew they wanted to create a naturalistic experience that did not require controllers or wearables.
Dimenco evaluated a number of haptic technologies and chose Ultrahaptics as a solid solution that fitted best into the overall concept. Ultrahaptics’ patented algorithms control ultrasound waves to create tactile sensations in mid-air. No controllers or wearables are needed: ultrasonic speakers project shapes and textures directly onto a user’s hands.
Using Ultrahaptics’ open infrastructure, Dimenco found it easy to integrate haptic sensations into a game engine (in this case Unreal).
Dimenco’s Simulated Reality development kits launched at CES in January 2019 and received hugely positive coverage both there and at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in March.
– Charlie Fink, “Why 2019 was the best year for AR and VR at CES”, Forbes
Kits are expected to be available to developers in the latter half of 2019 and a consumer launch is planned for 2020.
“Visitor reactions… have been overwhelming. I think a lot of people understand what VR/AR/MR are doing, but for many people that you could create such an experience without wearables was an eye-opener.”
-Maarten Tobias, CEO of Dimenco