Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

UTOUCH Report Summary

Project ID: 685368

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - UTOUCH (Universal mid-air haptic feedback)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The way people interface with the increasing number of machines around us is changing. Where we once typed on a keyboard and manipulated with a mouse, we now swipe, pinch and tap on a glass surface with touch screens operating everything from our mobile phones to our coffee machines. A new generation of interface is emerging which doesn’t even require physical contact with our device controls. Gesture recognition will revolutionise Human Machine Interation (HMI) freeing users from a two-dimensional interface. But gesture recognition lacks the touch feedback of a physical world. Ultrahaptics provides a remarkable connection with technology. Just like a physical switch, users can feel themselves interacting in mid-air. Haptic feedback allows users to know that their commands have been received by the devices. This ultrasonic technology is the missing piece to a seamless, intuitive gesture recognition experience.

This project brings this technology to applications across multiple markets. The project has allowed Ultrahaptics to create a development kit where engineers across automotive, industrial, appliance and many other markets can quickly evaluate how mid-air touch to truly differentiate their product by making mid-air controls intuitive and responsive for the first time.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project has enabled the Ultrahaptics engineers to embed the proprietary software on a microcontroller and an FPGA. These components have allowed for the creation of a development kit.

On the first of November 2016 Ultrahaptics will do a pre-launch of the TOUCH development kit and accept pre-orders. The kit, available through distribution (EBV), will officially launch at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017. It will include all the software and hardware that product development engineers will require to create their own custom mid-air touch sensations. From an array of ultrasonic speakers, embedded software and a software editing tool, engineers can experience the mid-air haptic feedback within minutes of the box reaching their desk and create their own mid-air sensations within just a few hours.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The development kit allows for deployment Ultrahaptics technology across hundreds of different applications. Because the TOUCH development kit contains everything developers need to recreate a selection of pre-programmed haptic sensations and the ability for them to create their own custom sensations, it enables the technology to be quickly and easily deployed into products.

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