ViviTouch turns touch into language with HD Feel

vivitouch turns touch language hd feel

Imagine a tiny rectangle, roughly the height of a quarter, that can make gaming more sophisticated, gadgets more useful, be used as a teaching tool, and potentially make some deaf people hear, and you have an idea of what ViviTouch’s technology can accomplish. The easiest and most direct example of what ViviTouch makes is a gaming controller with a rumble motor. That rumble, known as haptic feedback, is at the heart of what ViviTouch does, but it goes so much further. The technology can even be used to create its own language of sorts. More on that in a moment.  

The company is part of Bayer Material Science, and the uses for its haptic devices have a wide reach. ViviTouch’s technology is finding its way into more and more devices, from Mad Catz headphones that are beginning to hit the market globally right now, to stylus pens that can be trained for multiple functions. And then there is the rumble motion that is meant to simulate soundwaves hitting an ear canal.

In some rare cases, it has given people that have been deaf for years the ability to hear again.

Vivi StylusViviTouch is a company that licenses its technology out to other companies, and the number of uses continues to grow. One example combines a smartband with ViviTouch to create a wearable bracelet that could offer you alerts through vibrations in the same way a phone does. This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. 

The human body can register more than 85 individual haptic effects. Without being trained to tell the difference, humans instinctively know the difference between a long, fast vibration and a slow, pulsing one. The new ViviTouch technology allows for programmable haptic patterns, opening the door for others to create a touch-based series of notifications, with each one meaning something different.

This technology, called “HD Feel,” makes it possible to use the effects in the same way we would to create words or letters. It is, in essence, a programmable language created by haptic feedback. 

There are plenty of other applications for this technology as well. At CES, ViviTouch rigged up a stylus with a stack actuator – the aforementioned rectangle that creates haptic feedback – which then offered different vibrational effects when pressed against a touch screen. It was a simple demo meant to show that you can easily assign a particular effect to a specific interaction, but the technology can go in multiple directions. Imagine trying to learn a written language that uses a different type of letter or symbol than you are used to. A smart pen equipped with haptic feedback could vibrate to tell you when you are correctly and incorrectly writing a particular letter or symbol (assuming you were writing on a touchscreen).

With retail headsets featuring a stack actuator, the haptic feedback can simulate bass through the vibration without potentially causing damage to your ears, as most high volumes can.

The list of possible applications goes on and on. Better haptic feedback in gaming controllers is already beginning, and ViviTouch is partnering with a company called Sinister to bring that feedback to its mouse (without vibrating the controller so much it interferes with gameplay). Smartphones already feature haptic feedback and vibration, and that should continue and improve. New wearable gadgets are using the tech as well.

When you have a technology that can create its own language, the possibilities are vast.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options. Fan-favorite third-party and exclusive games are also included.

Fortnite squads up with Ninja, Chan, and Samsung for exclusive K-pop skin

The Galaxy S10 Plus has features that make it great for mobile gaming and just like last year, Fortnite and Samsung have joined forces to bring an exclusive K-pop skin to the phone. Here's how you can get it.

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.