The Science of Touch
To create truly powerful experiences in the virtual world, our team of world-leading haptics researchers delved deep into the physics and biology of how humans touch and feel in the natural world. This led to the development of our unique and proprietary touch technology that mimics nature – our Dynamic Tactile Wave™ – based on 15 years of research and development. It mirrors human biology, in that it closely recreates how we humans perceive the presence of objects and their surface characteristics when interacting with them in the real world.
The Magic of Sensors and Electro-Mechanics
Once we had perfected the reproduction of sensory elements, we added a number of other technologies to our Tactile Wave: software, sensors, actuators, and some other elements that just need to remain a mystery.
The lack of accurate tracking has hamstrung the emergence of VR generally but we have seen mature heading and positioning technologies emerge in recent months. Tactai Touch™ adds the missing element of tracking your hands and fingers at high resolutions to achieve fine-grained control of virtual objects. This revolutionary technology allows you to feel fine details in the virtual world and to replace the legacy buttons-based controllers by allowing users to interact directly and naturally with virtual objects.
Touch-Enabled Application Control for VR/AR
Reimagine how you would interact with your favorite VR application if it was driven by a touch-enabled user interface. Here are just a few examples of how our Touch Interaction Paradigm™ (TIP™) can drastically improve your experience.
Gaming: In a gaming context, you walk up to a rack of weapons and pick one up, naturally: no pointing with cursors and no buttons necessary to press to select your weapon of choice. With Tactai Touch™ you just pick it up. Then as you turn towards the action, you actually feel the weapon you grasp. As you squeeze the trigger, you feel it push into your finger.
Real Estate: In a virtual walkthrough of a residential or commercial space, walk up to a door, grab the knob, turn it and push the door to enter the room. You did that just as you would in the real world and not by pushing a controller button or by moving close enough to the door to trigger a proximity sensor.
Events: A virtual live concert features a virtual elevator to change your perspective from the balcony to the lower level. Walk up to it and press the elevator button with your finger – not the X or Y button on your game controller. You feel surfaces against your fingers as you make your way to the lower level – interacting with the virtual world much like you do in the real.
The physical dimension of touch blurs the lines between real and virtual for an incomparably immersive experience.
Tactai Touch Software
Tactai Touch™ works with all major head-mounted-displays (HMDs) and ships as plug-ins for popular VR development environments like Unity and Unreal. Please see our developers pages for more details on packaging and availability
High-Fidelity Haptics For Touch Screens
Todays touch screens on mobile phones and tablets present stunning visual and audio and experiences but the realism of the experience ends where finger meets glass. Tactai has extended the Touch Interaction Paradigm™ (TIP™) to deliver realistic textures and surface characteristics to touch screens. The user interface does not change but the experience and engagement levels are greatly enhanced by realistic sensations of textures, transitions, smoothness, friction and hardness (among other surface features). A few business and consumer use cases are presented below.
E-Commerce: Imagine a mobile shopper, swiping through a catalog until she stops at that sweater she likes. She can now run her finger over a Tactai Touch driven image in the catalog that allows her to feel the cashmere. She can then juxtapose it with another item in the catalog and actually feel the difference.
Click-and-mortar Commerce: A building materials vendor has limited shelf space at the local DIY store – so he features five bathroom tiles in store and the rest as a catalog on a touch screen tablet. Shoppers can touch and feel and pick up the few samples in store but they can also look at and feel the surfaces of hundreds of tile samples in the vendor’s warehouse
Personal photos: An executive on the road has just purchased a stuffed toy for his tweenage daughter. He takes a picture and uploads it to the latest photo sharing site “SnapBooker” that allows him to tag it as a plush (from an available library of textures) or if he has the Tactai Touch Haptic Scanner, actually scan the surface texture for capture its surface properties. His daughter is able to view the picture and also feel it just like she would if she touched the real thing.
Being able to touch objects viewable on the screen helps businesses and people bridge gaps in credibility or availability.
The Tactai Difference
The patented “Dynamic Haptics™” technology available only from Tactai provides real-time authentic touch sensations to a user’s fingers by dynamically generating a tactile waveform for a given user input motion. Tactai’s high-fidelity haptic output makes it possible for the first time to easily and accurately render a wide variety of surface textures, geometric objects, and a wealth of other new and exciting user-interface experiences In 2D or 3D environments.
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