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Introducing the world’s first system for in-air haptic feedback, through ultrasound MEMs arrays

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Haptictouch (Introducing the world’s first system for in-air haptic feedback, through ultrasound MEMs arrays)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2018-09-30

MyVox has developed a unique transducer-platform, based on a patented technology that combines microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) with the mimicking of the ultrasound senses used by bats. The ground-breaking innovation greatly reduces cost and makes it possible to combine actuators microsystems (haptic touch and audio feedback) with many different applications (mobile phones, tablets, cars, robots etc.). The disruptive nature of the technology lies in the design of the existing miniaturized MEMS platform, which enables in-air haptic & audio feedback function. MyVox solution actually eliminates the need for tools and touch-sensors and can therefore offer a wide variety of benefits. For example, in hospitals, where integrating MyVox haptic and audio-based sensor systems in equipment (thus removing the need for touching an actual surface and the use of a glove or other device), means that the contamination via common surfaces will be drastically reduced. Other examples of how disruptive MyVox ground breaking sensors are, is their integration in the cockpits of vehicles, where they will greatly reduce the risk of accidents by removing the need for taking the eyes of the road (with virtual buttons placed in the line of sight, rather than on the dashboard). As a visual aid (the sensor will allow a virtual button to have different surface feels, thus functioning as a virtual braille, etc.). Current pricing means that customers pay 1000 USD per unit (only one company offer something similar, although their solution is on a dm scale rather than MyVox sub-centimeter scale). MyVox aims to introduce its system at a cost below 50 USD, thereby reducing the cost by 95%. MyVox current business plan indicate a possible revenue of 1.5 Million Euro in 2020, 8 Million Euro in 2021 and 30 Million Euro already in 2022 for the sensor platform alone. Adding haptic and audio feedback means the market share will grow exponentially as there are no competing solution world wide.
MyVox have conduct an analysis of the current design of the Rx gesture control 3D imaging hardware/software, in order to determine whether it needs to be redesigned/adapted, when including haptic touch. The outcome was to be a detailed design plan for constructing of the prototypes that will be tested with customers during 2019 (i.e. in the planned SME Phase 2 project to follow).
At the same time MyVox would conduct a review of the possible market segments and the existing cost estimates for scaling up manufacturing, in order to validate or update the existing business plan.
The initial market strategy that was analysed in the SME 1 project, was to work closely with strategic partners and develop solutions with them. With the Automotive sector being the first priority. However, due to the results from the initial tests and deep interviews with potential clients in various industries done during the Summer of 2018, and the very positive response from some customers., this priority has now changed. Instead the idea is to create an ecosystem and, by working closely with a few key customers early on, develop guides and tools for later users, thus allowing MyVox to penetrate the market, irrespective of the company’s own growth of the organisation
MyVox has successfully fabricated and tested several prototypes and a new system for ultrasound beamforing (Tx ultrasound circuits) and algorithms to to evaluate HapticTouch feedback with single and multi chip solutions.
The main technical focus of the feasibility study under this SME Phase 1 project has been on selecting the optimisation features and final design of the existing MEMS hardware, for the integration of the haptic feedback function. In addition, the feasibility study would allow MyVox to review the business plan and the patenting strategy, preparing the patent requests that are seen necessary, based on the findings of the feasibility study. A new freedom to operate analysis was therefore to be performed, together with a business intelligence review. The results of the project meant that the company could accelerate ongoing discussions with several potential investors.
An important finding during this work has been that the main advantage compared to identified competitors, is that the use of MyVox unique pMUTs, manufactured by MyVox close partner SILEX Microsystems, means that we can scale up the technology almost 30 times. Thus, reducing cost, increasing performance and reducing energy consumption. The advantages of the technology (which will be validated and demonstrated in an operational setting from 2019) are:
• Low-power - Distance and angle computation is based on triangulation (phase delays with Rx beamforming). Requires much less energy compared to gesture recognition from image analysis applications.
• Tx beamforming using algorithms and theory from massive-MIMO antenna theory from 5G to control the acoustic field at sub-mm precision in 3D.
• Speed of sound << Speed of light Simpler electronics needed for readout and measurement at shorter distances (cm-dm) possible
• Low cost - Ultrasonic transducers based on MEMS enables miniaturization and large scale mass fabrication.
• Compatibility with IC processing.
• High resolution – mmWave technology - High ultrasound frequency (~200 kHz) in combination with multi-channel ASIC technology
enables advance 3D acoustic fields with lateral as well as depth resolution better than sub-mm
• Works in 3D imaging object recognition also under difficult conditions where LIDAR, RADAR and IR-cameras have limitations (e.g. sunlight, fog, smoke, glass surface)
• MyVox can also provide IR (Immersive Reality)!! allowing virtual touch sensing through Tactile Haptic feedback, the additional sense beyond VR/AR

The ground-breaking innovation greatly reduces cost and makes it possible to combine haptic touch and audio feedback with 3D imaging, giving new opportunities in various fields, ranging from mobile phones to cars and from robotics to future medical applications. Current market pricing means that customers pay 1000 USD per unit for ultrasound sensor systems. MyVox innovation means that it is possible to introduce its system at a much lower price. Moreover, MyVox innovation offers considerable environmental benefits, in comparison with existing solutions.