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EETE JULAUG 2014

Another demonstration consisted of the same Haptuator mounted underneath an empty plastic glass. As water was poured into the glass and moved around in the video, the haptic effects rendered through the empty glass truly gave the impression that you were holding the real thing. Bluffing, yet, I am not sure how this would be implemented in commercial applications. Actronika was officially registered only the day before the conference started and freshly named CEO Rafal Pijewski, a former Mechanical Design Engineer at ISIR, was happy to discuss the potential applications. “At this stage, we are only proving a concept so we have yet to see how this would be commercialized”, told us Pijewski, “but we want to show how one can easily add haptic effects to any object and match any displayed content, real or virtual”. The company is building libraries of haptic effects based on this principle and encourages an open-source model so that more developers and companies can develop and exchange these haptic effects. Actronika would act as a consultancy and get royalties for licensing the IP. “We’ll first go through an incubation period to identify in which markets we can best develop our activity”, added Pijewski. One application I can think off is TV advertising, where viewers would get these haptic sensations through their remote control, but that could also apply to video games or to movies for better immersion (with haptuators embedded in your seat). A year-old startup, Elitac is busy selling waist-belts and various bands fitted with tiny vibration motors whose modular configuration is easily re-organized using Velcro straps. The vibration motors are controlled through a Bluetooth-enabled unit, making these tactile belts a customizable tool for research on haptics. The company commercializes a Science Suit Kit and various add-ons, but it is also exploring commercial applications of their own. One application under development at Elitac is a haptic GPS-guidance system for motorbikers. With localized vibrations, the waist-strap indicates the wearer when to turn right or left, or warns about a wrong path. More information could be encoded of course, it is just a matter of finding the appropriate combinations that are the most intuitive to interpret. “Such haptic feedback doesn’t require the motorbiker to look at a GPS screen, it doesn’t distract the rider with voice commands either” told us Jasper Dijkman, Elitac’s commercial director. Ideally, the company would strike a partnership with a motorcycle jacket manufacturer. The company is also working on the RANGEIT project to combine a stand-alone wearable haptic interface with 3D camera hardware and image recognition software, for detecting and Elitac’s Science Suit kit. presenting close range objects (less than 7m away) to the wearer, in any indoor space. This could serve visually-impaired people but also firemen or any other rescue staff in difficult environments. At the conference, one paper was suggesting that wearable haptics could improve athlete coaching units, as athletes could receive direct feedback during their performance (rather than looking at their watch or analysing data afterwards). An entire routine could be programmed with thresholds to cross and performance levels to maintain, with haptic effects to validate when these performance levels are reached or not. eu.mouser.com The Newest Products for Your Newest Designs® We speak customer service fl uently. When it comes to delivering the newest products, faster, local knowledge is everything. Mouser has worldwide coverage providing professional and excellent sales service and technical support with invaluable local knowledge and experience. European Headquarters Germany Elsenheimerstr.11 80687, Munich +49 (0) 89 520 462 110 munich@mouser.com Authorised distributor of semiconductors and electronic components for design engineers. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2014 13 GlobalLoc_PanEuro_93x277.indd 1 14/04/14 15:21


EETE JULAUG 2014
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