What is Haptic Technology and Why is it Useful?

What is Haptic Technology and Why is it Useful?

A medical doctor who can experience the way their tools and patients feel in training simulations with virtual technology is using what is known as Haptic Technology. Simulating the sense of touch has many applications in a wide variety of industries like the medical industry, space exploration, video games, and more. Haptic Technology is becoming more refined, and the forecast is for higher utilization in the next decade. Here we will explain more about what Haptic Technology is and share use cases for various industries.

Study and observation of human ability in the sensory realm, or Human Haptic studies, were a critical first step toward developing the technology that would mimic these abilities and allow users to feel something in the virtual world. The knowledge assembled from these studies spanned from understanding the bones, tissue and muscle components of the human hand and our complex nervous system to explore the touch responses in simple organisms like worms and jellyfish. Human Haptic studies went deeply into the study of learning about all of the human components of the hand that contribute to the sense of touch. Human dexterity was also examined and measured by the 22 joints in the hand as 22 degrees of freedom in motion. These studies became the basis for transferring these abilities to machines and the field of machine haptics.

The beginning of machine haptics started with crude mechanics that enabled machines to move, grasp, and manipulate objects. These capabilities were exceptionally useful in the hazardous waste industry where it was of great benefit to removing human involvement. When computers arrived as a technological revolution, they were able to create 3D virtual environments with limited touch sensory experience.

In the early 1990’s Computer Haptics evolved as a new area of study involving the hardware and software needed to recreate the experience of touch when it came to interacting with virtual objects. Considerations for developing a realistic virtual touch experience included things like being able to tell the difference between a balloon and a brick wall as well as the size, weight, temperature, and texture of an object. These abilities sound fascinating, right? If you’re in the business world, you may be wondering how these developments will be applied to various industries. Next, we will go through a few use cases, or applications of these technologies.

Use Cases for Haptic Technology

  • Here we will list and discuss several ways Haptic Technology can be used to benefit certain industries.
  • Airline Industry: Pilots can feel the buttons and controls during training simulation and mechanics can feel the experience of handling parts to make repairs
  • Medical Industry: Medical students can feel what it is like to perform complex, delicate surgeries
  • Space Travel: Through an advanced haptic robot, scientists will be able to feel what rocks are like on Mars
  • Military: Haptic technology will teach soldiers how to take apart bombs in the virtual world as well as prepare for battle
  • Video Games: Gamers will be able to feel the weight and power of their tools in the virtual world used to play games
  • Education: Studies have shown that children learn better when they can associate learning experiences with touch
  • Resources for the Disabled: One of many examples is touchable maps and objects for the blind

These are only a few instances in an industry that is poised to take off in the next decade. What is your idea? Intrepid Data builds programs utilizing haptic technology. Contact us for further information.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2hQ4nOp


Robert Endo is the founder and Engagement Manager of Intrepid Data, LLC,

Intrepid Data is a full-service developer that builds platforms for web-based applications