New Immersion Tactile Effect Solutions Communicate Physical Presence, Emotion and Realism
Company to demonstrate new tactile interface solutions at Mobile World Congress
While mobile communications and content can be highly personal, user experiences can feel lifeless, isolated and detached, with interactions reduced to unresponsive gestures on touchscreens. Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced new build-time interface solutions for OEMs to enrich interactive mobile experiences: one enabling conveyance of physical presence, another bringing realism to the branded mobile user interface. The company will be demonstrating its new Tactile Presence and Integrated Themes solutions, along with other advances in tactile user experiences, February 25-28 in the App Planet Hall, Stand 8.1F49, at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.
Immersion's Tactile Presence transmits haptic information between mobile devices, allowing users to feel one another's actions. (Photo: Business Wire)
Communicating Physical Presence
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.
“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,” explains 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 optimized to work with Immersion’s TouchSense® 5000 embedded software for high definition (HD) haptics. The Tactile Presence solution transmits tactile information via mobile network or Wi-Fi and will be available to OEMs in 2H 2013.
Mobile OEMs are challenged to create branded user experiences that distinguish their devices in a competitive market. With Immersion’s Integrated Theme Module, OEMs can extend their brand into the device “feel” by tightly integrating the audio, visual and tactile experience. For example, a user experience designed to communicate the idea of tranquility, 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. A user interface designed for a branded automotive experience comes to life when you feel the virtual car door unlock as you enter the home screen.
“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,” explains 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 leveling the device experience and the OEM brand.”