Access and Feeds

Haptics: Devices Providing Tactile Feedback

By Dick Weisinger

Haptics. That’s the tactile or vibrational feedback devices give off to provide signals to the user. Haptics simulate what it might be to touch or feel something in real life, and increasingly, with newer devices, the range of feedback is getting more subtle, from soft ripples to strong explosive rumbling. It is increasingly used in the areas of gaming, and artificial and virtual reality.

By 2030, haptics is expectected to grow into a $4.8 billion market, according to IdTechEx Research.

Margaret McLaughlin, an IMSC investigator and professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, said that “the technology got its start in commercial gaming with the debut of inexpensive, non-immersive versions using force-feedback joysticks and steering wheels that vibrated as the driver sped along a video racetrack. But in university laboratories, the availability of more sensitive, high-end devices that could render touch sensations in three dimensions quickly led to applications in more serious pursuits.”

Sam Ochanji, author at Virtual Reality Times, wrote that “when it comes to haptics, there is already a range of devices which have the potential to materialize into workable products even though the dream of the perfect haptic sensations is still a vision of the future. Some innovators are already ahead of the curve and there are niche haptic products that are already deployable.”

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