In this tech savvy world we quite often hear reviewers saying something called as “Haptic Feedback”. we will try to break the ice for you, we will discuss what it is, why it is important, how they are implemented in devices, different types of haptic feedback, and what’s the future of this technology. let’s dive in right away.
Haptic is also an integral part of human body also, human body uses several haptic mechanism to control the body, keep the body steady, protect it from harm. Let’s say you accidentally touched a cactus, your body will give you a sensation called pain, then you know you are hurt and probably need medication. If for some reason the body doesn’t give this signal to the brain you may become the painless guy in the world but you never know when your body is in desperate need of medication. Pain is the indication that you need help. Our human body hugely depends on the haptics for it’s survival.
In technological terms Haptic feedback is basically a feedback to the user to let them know that the action they wanted the system to perform has been registered by the device and will be performed. It is kind of a confirmation from the device that i have registered your actions and will perform accordingly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why haptic feedback is important
- 2 How Haptic feedback is implemented in devices
- 3 Future of Haptic feedback
Why haptic feedback is important
It is very important from the perspective of the user, think what happens if the keyboard you are working with doesn’t give the feeling of the key being pressed. There’s a reason why the mechanical keyboards are booming these days, they give a feeling of the key being pressed, the user can actually feel the keystroke and for some it also increases their typing speed also. Apple Mac book also provides some from of haptic feedback discussed below, some prefer the Apple butterfly mechanism, some don’t, it’s a matter of whether you like the feedback mechanism in Apple or not. think about plying a game and you crushing through the enemy horde, you will get immersed in the game if every fire it shoots through the rifle is felt by you. Haptics are a very important part in the gaming experience. The mouse also provides some form of the haptic feedback through it’s tactile, clicky buttons.
How Haptic feedback is implemented in devices
Some of the devices that use haptic feedback for user engagement are mobile devices, tablets, video game controllers, PS4, smart watches, wearables, and a dozen other electronic devices. There are three different hardware commonly used for the implementation of haptic feedback
1.) Piezo Electronics
2.) Eccentric rotating mass motor
3.) Linear Resonant Accutators
4.) C2 Tactor
Piezo electric crystals is a material which produces electrical charges when stress is applied, it can also be used in reverse direction. Piezo electric actuators produce electrical charges when stress is applied on the material. These actuators can provide localized vibrations to the touch interface of the user, hence it is widely used. Apple Macbook also uses the same tech for their haptic feedback.
Eccentric rotating mass motor
It is similar to a regular DC motor where the motor rotates on the application of current. It is mainly used for propagating the vibrations to the external of the device where the user will normally hold the device.
Linear resonant actuators
Linear resonant actuators runs on a voice coil unlike a DC motor, it runs on AC current unlike DC current in Eccentric rotating mass motor. LRA’s consume less power and has very good start/stop time, hence it is mostly used in the industry. It is mostly used in video game controllers and other hand held devices.
C2 Tactor is a transducer which produces micro vibrotactile used to provide strong localized sensation on the body, it works on AC and produces vibrations corresponding to the amplitude and frequency of the AC signal. It is very costly hence not used in consumer electronics.
Future of Haptic feedback
In Steven Spielberg’s film Ready Player One, the characters went into a virtual environment called as Oasis, where the characters can actually feel the environment, interact with it, characters can smell and even taste things in the virtual environment. That era is not far from now. Around the world people are working on the technology. Engineers from around the world are building devices which can be worn by the user, and will get the haptic feedback from the environment. It will also help in robotics, engineering, education, management, entertainment sectors.
Pressure sensitive gloves
There are pressure sensitive gloves which can be worn by the user, and can exert force on the environment and also to your hands to give a realistic feeling of the object you are holding.
Most of the wearables today use tactile sensation, but for kinesthetic sensation muscle joint tendon is used. It is kind of an exoskeleton which provides support to the user, can help paralyzed people to walk and even provide extra strength for the soldiers.
touchscreen surfaces have been worked on to provide feel of a specific texture when touched. Electric charges can be used to provide the sensation of roughness, smoothness, slippery, sandstone texture to the user.
these AR/VR googles provide a sense of seeing to the user. It play a game on your mind to make it feel that it is seeing the real thing. VR has become a mainstream tool for the entertainment purpose.
Hope you like the article “what is haptic feedback”, i took on the responsibility to write about it. It’s such an interesting area to work on. do let me know if you like this article by commenting below.