French connection helps Cambridge Mechatronics in nextgen haptics play
Cambridge Mechatronics (CML), and French company Interhaptics have agreed a strategic collaboration to bring a cutting-edge AR/VR haptics technology demonstrator to the market.
AR and VR headsets are available from multiple major vendors. They combine specialised optics and acoustic components to deliver next generation audio/visual experiences.
Numerous applications are possible, ranging from training and remote working to consumer gaming in the metaverse. Headsets are currently used in conjunction with handheld controllers to give haptic feedback.
However, the use of handheld controllers with conventional buttons and vibration motors for touch sensations can compromise the immersive nature of the experience.
CML has developed world-leading Shape Memory Alloy actuators that deliver high force in a miniature form factor and are controlled with exceptional levels of precision.
CML has used this platform technology to develop an advanced glove that delivers haptics to the user’s hands in a way specifically tailored for AR/VR. The miniature precision actuators placed around the glove provide kinaesthetic feedback and high-definition touch sensations in response to users’ actions in the AR/VR environment.
This produces natural, realistic sensations including squeezing objects and different surface textures. Crucially, CML’s designs are slim, lightweight and low power to deliver a comfortable experience over extended periods of use. This brings the technology beyond enterprise applications to the mainstream consumer market.
The Interhaptics software suite runs on the leading headset software platforms and can compute and render up to 64 actuators simultaneously in real time.
It can manage the haptics communications from the headset to the haptic devices and seamlessly coordinate power delivery for the most engaging experiences.
CML and Lille-based Interhaptics are using the Haptic Composer 2.0 module in conjunction with the SMA glove to design high quality, immersive demonstrators that can simply be extended into fully fledged AR/VR applications.
The new demonstrator is being made available in May for meetings around the globe.