CES 2018 | Haptics, haptics everywhere
Heather Macdonald Tait is still in the recovery position following an unbelievably hectic CES 2018 for Ultrahaptics.
And… relax. I’m back at Ultrahaptics basecamp in Bristol, UK, and still reeling after an incredible week at CES 2018, where mid-air haptics proved to the world how it will transform interaction in everything from automotive to AR, brand engagement to ATMs, theme parks to consumer goods. We were, as you can imagine, kind of busy.
Where do I start? The Tom’s Guide award for best innovation? Stevie Wonder visiting the Accessible Olli autonomous electric shuttle bus? Or maybe (I am a PR exec, after all) the amazing press coverage from, among others, CNN, The Times, Adweek and The Huffington Post?
Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth
Haptics is something that has to be experienced to be truly understood, and CES is an opportunity to do just that. Watch some of our visitors’ reactions to our demos here.
There were interactive movie posters that sent electric sparkles dancing around visitors’ hands or turned into minigames where users felt lasers coming out of their fingertips, and visitors trained as a wizard in a magical immersive VR experience, feeling the fire and wind spells actually leave their hands.
Haptics is about smart solutions as well as entertainment. In our smart home demo, Ultrahaptics became a pervasive technology, allowing visitors to control lights using invisible, intuitive controls that found their hands when needed.
We know that the best and most innovative uses of our technology often happen when we pool our haptic expertise with the deep sector knowledge of key partners.
At CES, visitors could test out one of global gaming leader IGT’s CrystalCurve™ TRUE 4D™ slot machines, which combine Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptic technology with glasses-free TRUE 3D™ and gesture recognition technologies to create multi-sensory gaming experiences.
Our partners Asukanet also combined Ultrahaptics’ technology with 3D imaging, to create “haptic holograms” in a futuristic ATM where users operate mid-air buttons – creating a more secure and hygienic public interface. Or visitors could enter the car showroom of the future and explore, configure and feel a £2 million Pagani roadster in our award-winning AR collaboration with ZeroLight.
Over in the main hall, #AccessibleOlli combined our technology with that of IBM, CTA Foundation, Local Motors and other partners to create the world’s most accessible autonomous vehicle, and a few lucky VIPs were able to test out GHSP’s prototype Haptics Shifter control at an invite-only demo.
Finally, and one of my personal favourites, there was the launch of Simulated Reality – a collaboration between glasses-free 3D company Dimenco, Ultrahaptics, KDX and Auro Technologies to create virtual objects that exist in the real world around us and are almost indistinguishable from it.
2018 – the year of haptics
CES has been an incredible start to what is shaping up to be an incredible year for Ultrahaptics. If you’re interested in collaborating with us to create the projects and demos that get everyone talking at next year’s CES (yes, I’m already thinking about it), then please get in touch. Maybe just give me a few days to recover first…
Heather Macdonald Tait is a specialist in technology marketing and was Ultrahaptics’ employee #5. She is passionate about engaging children in STEM subjects and increasing diversity in the tech industry.