Since Ultrahaptics was founded in 2013, the business has showed off a string of better and better technical demos. Which includes been fun, but clearly where the rubber really hits the road (pun most emphatically intended) is when the services and products start turning up in real life. 2017 might just prove to be the entire year where that occurs.
Cars, perhaps a lot more than in any other market, is where haptic feedback interfaces make the most sense. Car makers love the flexibleness of touch screens; this means that you don’ t have to find out what every button does and where it goes into the long production cycles of automobiles. You carve out a large slab of space to match a screen, and the program guys do the rest. Is practical; this is the identical approach which means you can use your smartphone for a billion different things, instead of just sending SMS messages, making calls and playing snake . There’ s a problem with touch screens, though. A large one. You can’ t operate them without considering the screen . Which really is a really, really bad idea when you’ re barreling down the road at 70 miles per hour 3, 000 lbs worth of steel and glass. Which brings us back to haptic interfaces.
An interface that provides you all of the feels.
A couple weeks ago, BMW showed off the HoloActive haptic interface . It’ s part of a thought car that may give you a whiff of what cars may be up to a decade from now, so who knows if that turns up next year, twenty years from now, or, oh, I don’ t know, never . That’ s the way of concept cars. A much more certain route to market is when large OEM suppliers start showing off technology. And that’ s why a demo car from Bosch caught my attention at CES. It may you need to be the springboard that will catapult the Bristol-based Ultrahaptics from the relative obscurity of entertaining technical demos, to the shiny, sparkly stratosphere of real-world use.
If you’ re not a car aficionado, it’ s possible you only know Bosch because of their wiper blades. That’ s cool, but whatever the logo on leading of your car, chances are your vehicle contains lots of parts from the German equipment manufacturer. The company makes all sorts of clever bits and pieces for cars, including ABS systems, electronics, engine injection systems, and much more . It’ s fair to see Bosch as the over-sized parts bin that car manufacturers select from when they design their next-generation cars.
Within Bosch’ s CES Show Car, the business is revealing two fun new technologies that is rendering it easier to connect to your car without taking your eyes off the road. One is a production-ready version of neoSense, which is made to aid drivers touchscreen “ buttons” by touch.
Haptic controls: No level of photos could make them look good. Give it a try, though: it is a little bit as promised.
Underneath all the car-porn, Bosch’s services and products usually provide a heads-up of what’s ahead in the near future
The second technology is a haptic gesture control system. It uses Ultrahaptics’ technology to give feedback to the driver. Rather than having to touch a screen, drivers can merely move their hand in the air. The sensors “ see” the hand and by using ultrasound technology, the driver can “ feel” the controls. Imagine swiping to the proper to skip to the next an eye on music, like and feeling a little ridge in nothing that signifies that you’ ve skipped a track. Or, perhaps a better example, moving your hand until you feel a tingling sensation signifying the air conditioning controls, before swiping left or right to turn the temperature up or down.
“ We’ re incredibly worked up about how receptive the automotive market has been to Ultrahaptics. Gesture recognition has come a long way within the last few years. It’ s now affordable for a whole selection of different markets and applications, ” Ultrahaptics’ CEO Steve Cliffe explained. “ Using its growing popularity the need for haptics is becoming more and more obvious. Now for the first time, with Ultrahaptics’ technology, gesture recognition is finished with the sense of touch in mid-air. ”
Both Ultrahaptics and Bosch are extraordinarily tight-lipped about which (if any) car manufacturers are spooling up the usage of the technology in cars, but I’ve on good authority that people will see this in production cars eventually.
Haptic controls are certainly going to have a bit of used to, but if it can help keep drivers’ eyes on the highway, I’ m all for this. Definitely one to help keep an eye out for.