Hap2U, a haptics developer specialized in integrating sensory intelligence into tactile surfaces, announces that it will unveil Hap2Phone, the world's first haptic smartphone display, that allows users to feel and sense, for the first time, objects in photos appearing on their touchscreens. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Haptics 2020-2030: Technologies, Markets and Players.
Sensations in smartphones are currently limited to a vibration when receiving a text message or a click via vibrotactile technology. Hap2U is introducing HD texture sensations to offer OEMs new performance capabilities, potentially leading to the ability to feel the texture of, for example, clothing displayed on an online store. One of Hap2U's aims is to allow smartphone users to send a text message without looking, by being able feel individual letters on the screen keyboard.
"Hap2U's haptic smartphone touchscreen, Hap2Phone, is an outstanding achievement. Our team is proud to have won a CES 2020 Innovation Award in recognition of this development," said Cédrick Chappaz, CEO of Hap2U. "We anticipate that Hap2Phone will attract strong interest from OEMs and system integrators seeking to enhance the end-user experience by improving their interaction with connected objects and machines. We believe that haptics will play a bigger role in enhancing sensory intelligence in smartphones."
The company integrates a thin film piezoelectric solution (2 micron in thickness) under the glass cover, meaning haptics can be felt over the full screen. Once this hardware is installed, it is the role of the software to get the exact haptic feeling in the right place. Any additional weight is marginal (<1g). The impact on display power consumption is also minimal, at roughly one per cent.
By applying a friction coefficient, Hap2U can make distinct variations in touch sensations (intense or soft nicks, springs, buttons, elasticity and all kinds of high-to-low elevation points and textures, etc.), allowing the nerve endings in fingertips to detect different sensations, then signaling the brain to interpret them. Hap2U's touch sensation technology is not only intended for smartphones. Its disruptive solution is compatible with all touch interfaces.
Founded in 2015, the company has pioneered developments in haptics beyond glass surfaces to include wood, metal and plastic, thereby expanding the frontiers of new possibilities. It has applications in the automotive industry for HMI displays, controls for manufacturing equipment and smart buildings. Daimler AG, the German multinational automotive corporation, invested €4M ($4.4M) in Hap2U in 2018 for applications in future car models.
As sales of its prototypes grow and preparations for a new fundraising round get underway, Hap2U will continue its market expansion with the aim of licensing its technology to the smart home and smart buildings markets as well as the healthcare and manufacturing industries.
Hap2U, a haptics developer, specializes in integrating sensory intelligence into tactile surfaces. It accentuates the touch coefficient to provide greater sensations on touchscreens by giving users an impression of relief and texture. Hap2U can integrate its haptic technology into various tactile interfaces, including wood, metal and plastic. It has applications in the automobile market, manufacturing, IoT and smart buildings products, revolutionizing how people interact with objects and machines. Founded in 2015, Hap2U is backed by Daimler AG, one of the world's largest producers of premium cars and commercial vehicles. It is located in Grenoble and employs 30 staff, which is set to double to 60 by the end of 2020.
Source: Andrew Lloyd & Associates
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Printed Electronics Europe 2020 on 13 - 14 May 2020 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.