Everybody has experienced haptics technology at some point. That zap of vibration you feel when a text message comes in. That shaking of the game controller when the grenade goes off. It's all haptics.
The reason VR and AR haptic suits and gloves are aiming for enterprises are that the informational feedback provided by haptics is of high monetary value, justifying the high cost of haptics technologies.
Although gamers tend to appreciate haptics, many people don't. A huge percentage of smartphone users, in fact, turn off many of the haptic features on their phones. People generally don't know about, or care about, haptics.
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The public generally holds three misconceptions about haptics.
- Haptics are boring or annoying
- Haptics are mostly for consumers
- Haptics are an unimportant gimmick
But the truth about haptics -- especially the future of advanced haptics -- is actually amazing.
Misconception 1: Haptics are boring or annoying
Haptics is an interface based on touch. Various technologies, including little weighted hammers that vibrate.
Because haptic vibrations are controlled by software, they can be programmed to do some amazing things. Increasingly advanced haptic technologies are being engineered into car dashboards, industrial equipment, barcode readers and, of course, smartphones.
[ Related: Why it's time to augment our thinking about AR ]
Haptics can provide feedback through touch that makes using electronic devices easier and more intuitive. But the real purpose of haptics is to communicate information to users.