Ultrahaptics, a startup company from Bristol, England that took shape 2013, is revolutionising the way we interact with the digital medium. The company, now worth more than 10 million pounds, is considered leaders in what is referred to as mid-air haptic technology.
This new technology allows users to experience virtual tactility without physical touch or a wearable device.
The technology directs ultrasound waves that are generated by a computer and projected through the air via an ultrasound speaker. The moving ultrasound waves displace the air around them, creating a pressure difference when they reach a specific target. When the user comes in contact with the target, the sensation is just like touch, even displacing the skin as if connecting with the object in reality.
Tom Carter of UltraHaptics says one of the future applications could be in automotive industry: “imagine cars have no control panels, just a very nice, sleek dashboard. If you’re driving and you want to turn the music up, you don’t have to take your eyes off the road; you just hold your hand out and the controls stick to your hand, so you can feel them.”