With today's augmented reality experiences, we can see and hear virtual content, but Ultrahaptics wants you to be able to feel those experiences, too.
The company has partnered with Meta Company to pair its ultrasound-based haptic feedback system with the Meta 2 augmented reality headset.
To demonstrate the technology at this year's CES in Las Vegas, automotive marketing agency ZeroLight built a 3D virtual model of a Pagani Huayra Roadster supercar. Attendees at the Ultrahaptics booth will be view the car and its components in AR, as well as hear the roar of its V12 engine and feel its vibrations.
"Touch is intrinsic to our understanding of the world and how we interact with it," said Anders Hakfelt, vice president of product and marketing at Ultrahaptics, in a statement. "This shouldn't be lost when we interact with digital media and virtual objects. Ultrahaptics uses ultrasound to create tactile feedback on the hand, allowing you to explore and manipulate virtual objects and react to tactile cues without inhibiting natural movement. By stimulating contact with digital models, we can amplify the overall impact and response of each digital interaction."
The experience serves as a proof-of-concept for making AR experiences more interactive. Imagine, for example, being able to place a piece of augmented reality IKEA furniture in your living room and then "feel" its upholstery. Or, in AR gaming situations, having the ability to feel the texture of the weapon in your hand as you unholster your firearm and hear the bullets whiz by in a first-person shooter.
"The vision behind Meta is to deliver a machine that acts as an extension of the body, allowing us to intuitively create, communicate and collaborate in a natural way," said David Oh, head of developer relations for Meta. "We are working closely with our partners using the Meta 2 Development Kit to deliver such experiences through augmented reality today, while defining what the future of computing will look like in the years to come."
If you're attending CES, you can stop by the Ultrahaptics booth (number 42337) on level 2 at the Sands Expo Center to try the experience yourself.