Immersion’s tactile effects touch mobile


Immersion to demo tactile effect solutions that communicate physical presence, emotion and realism at Mobile World Congress

Immersion, a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has announced new build-time interface solutions for OEMs to enrich interactive mobile experiences. One solution, Tactile Presence, enables the conveyance of physical presence, while the other, Integrated Themes, brings realism to a branded mobile user interface.

The Tactile Presence solution provides an API for mobile communication applications to call low power haptics, also known as tactile effects. By creating and transmitting tactile information between two mobile devices, Tactile Presence adds a sense of physical presence to interactive mobile experiences. Users can feel the remote actions of another through the application of dynamic tactile effects that capture and communicate emotive information, creating meaningful telepresence.

As a result, a child and parent can be more connected in a video chat by feeling each other draw and playfully interact in a shared tactile space; friends can inject more feeling into SMS and chat by using LOL and other emoticons that can be physically felt; interactive gaming is made more intuitive as players can actually sense remote partner actions; and loved ones who are miles apart can feel more connected as their fingers touch while they share a phone call, said Immersion. 'Everyone is familiar with the idea of telepresence, the notion that while we're talking on a phone, we create a shared audio space with others. With Tactile Presence, we have extended the idea of a shared space to include the sense of touch,' explained Immersion's vice president of user experience, Chris Ullrich. 'The sense of touch is fundamental, emotive and creates a strong sense of connection. With Tactile Presence, OEMs can harness this powerful sense to create more satisfying mobile telepresence experiences.' The Tactile Presence API is optimised to work with Immersion's TouchSense 5000 embedded software for HD haptics. The Tactile Presence solution transmits tactile information via mobile network or Wi-Fi and will be available to OEMs in 2H 2013.

With Immersion's Integrated Theme Module, OEMs can extend their brand into the device 'feel' by tightly integrating the audio, visual and tactile experience, said the company. For example, a user experience designed to communicate the idea of tranquillity, with calming natural elements, is transformed with the addition of tactile effects. The sound and visual of bamboo swaying is reinforced through the sensation of rustling leaves in your hands.

'The Integrated Theme Module enables OEMs to rethink the user experience with tactile effects as one of the tools in their design arsenal. With Integrated Themes, touch effects enhance the whole device design language, not just button confirmation, creating a more immersive overall experience,' remarked Immersion's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Dennis Sheehan. 'Incorporating tactile effects into the design stage of a mobile experience is critical. We understand from user research that well designed tactile effects positively influence the perception of device quality, up levelling the device experience and the OEM brand.'

The Integrated Theme Module is a build-time tool for OEMs which utilises Immersion's TouchSense 3000 and TouchSense 5000 embedded software to create high quality tactile effects throughout the Android OS. Integrated Themes creates a holistic UI experience by injecting specialised tactile effects into the lock screen, home screen, transitions, button confirmation, notification tray and alerts. The module comes with a series of predesigned reference themes, but OEMs can easily customise with their own assets to create a unique and branded experience. The Integrated Theme Module will be available to OEMs in the second quarter 2013.

The company will be demonstrating its new Tactile Presence and Integrated Themes solutions, along with other advances in tactile user experiences, at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.


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