Innovative Tech of the Week: Disney’s Plans for Haptic Touch Technology
Haptic technology, commonly referred to as touch technology, is the tactile feedback a device gives to the user. We have seen this technology in use through game systems which, for example, might vibrate when you “hit” an object in a game. Feedback we can not only see, but can also feel, advances our perception of an experience, and Disney is looking to add even more to this virtual reality.
The research team at Disney recently announced a technology that will “allow users to feel textures on a touchscreen, pointing to a future where you will be able to use your phone not only to see and hear, but also to feel.”
“As well as making screens you can feel, Disney Research is also developing tactile equipment that doesn’t require any actual contact at all…the device is called the “Aireal” and in its developers’ words it provides ‘interactive tactile experiences in free air.’ The Aireal works by blowing small rings of air at a user to simulate touch, movement or collisions with objects.”
This technology could be used not only for entertainment purposes but in helping the visually impaired navigate more easily, or immersing a hearing impaired user in sound using low frequency vibrations in lieu of louder music. We are excited about emerging technology and all the senses it is working to engage.