The Magic Touch: What is Haptic Technology?

Haptic Technology: A comprehensive review on its applications and future prospects

WHAT IS HAPTICS ? ‘Haptics’ is derived from the Greek word ‘haptikos’ which means – ‘being able to come into contact’. Haptics is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interact with computer applications.

The sensing haptics technology is measured significant as compared to other sensing technologies that are used for a human interface such as auditions and vision. This technology offers higher-touch sensations while using various electronic devices, and grades in a realistic virtual experience. Conservative touch screens lack in physical feedback. This failure is eradicated by haptic technology as it delivers clearly tactical verification to advance safety by eliminating interruptions. This virtual confirmation plays an essential role in application areas like navigation, automotive, etc.

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Generally computers typically only take advantage of one or two sensory channels (sight and sound) to transmit information to people. Haptics promises to open this bottleneck by adding a new channel of communication using the sense of touch. Haptics expands the notion of bidirectional communication between humans and computers to include sensory feedback.

VIRTUAL REALITY Virtual reality is a form of human-computer interaction providing a virtual environment that one can explore through direct interaction with our senses.

THE REAL WORLD User should be able to touch the virtual object and feel a response from it. In order to complete the imitation of the real world one should be able to interact with the environment and get a feedback. This feedback is called Haptic Feedback.

TACTILE FEEDBACK Refers to the sensations felt by the skin. It allows the user to feel things such as the texture of surfaces, temperature and vibration.

FORCE FEEDBACK It reproduces the directional forces that can result from solid boundaries. E.g. the weight of virtual objects, inertia, etc.

HAPTICS TECHNOLOGY: Haptic technology is a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. A haptic device gives people a sense of touch with computer-generated environments, so that when virtual objects are touched, they seem real and tangible.

Basically a haptic system consist of two parts namely the human part and the machine part. In the figure shown above, the human part (left) senses and controls the position of the hand, while the machine part (right) exerts forces from the hand to simulate contact with a virtual object. Also both the systems will be provided with necessary sensors, processors and actuators.

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