A blog about audio, haptics
and user experience


Fourth generation haptics platform: Bulldog

28th June 2013

A quick look at what we’ve begun demonstrating to our leading customers. Our demonstration unit, called Bulldog, not only delivers delivers true third generation* haptics, allowing us to vary what effect you get depending on where you press. It also takes pressure into consideration, so a different effect is delivered depending on how hard you press down.

This is, we believe, the first fourth generation haptics out there.

Our latest third generation haptics demonstrator

Our latest third (and fourth) generation haptics demonstrator

So, what we have here is four different, precisely software calibrated regions on the Gorilla Glass panel. Haptic effects are delivered using our actuators and this technology works on a variety of surfaces, so is ideal for phone screens, in vehicle controls, white goods…

Each region delivers its own custom feedback to simulate real world button presses and we have:

1) Turn dial for phone volume (or temperature if implemented in a white goods appliance like an oven) – temperature, this can be calibrated to mimic a vast variety of textures.

In the centre of this is a dome switch simulation that has different force thresholds, e.g. an on / off switch (pressure / relaxed).

2) A camera press. We’re particularly proud of this one. The camera press takes ‘degree of touch’ into account, so you can do a two stage (focus / take photo) just like you would on a real camera. We’ve had wonderful feedback from this with people doing double takes to find out how we made the screen sink – A… it doesn’t.

3) Raised effect button – allows you to find it even without looking. This is ideal for keyboard touches – or in car steering wheel / similar controls – where you want the confidence that you’ve hit the right button but don’t want to stare at the screen / steering wheel. The pressure sensing used for the camera button is also implemented so you can have three* effects depending on the level of force used.

4) A scroll bar – once again, volume / zoom for a screen – or temperature for a fridge.

* The pressure sensitivity can actually be calibrated to do a much larger number of steps, but three seemed more than suitable for most situations.


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