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: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
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.
Mobile

The upcoming Galaxy Note 9 may mark the end of Samsung's Note line

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will surely be big, bold, and pricey, but will it be foldable, or have an under-display fingerprint sensor? Those are just some of the rumors swirling around one of 2018's most anticipated phones.
Mobile

Apple stops offering free repairs for iPhones with grayed speaker buttons

Getting a new iPhone should be a pleasurable experience, but if you run into an issue, it can quickly become frustrating. Luckily, we’ve gathered a few potential solutions for any iPhone 7 problems you may be facing.
Emerging Tech

Can a gadget save you from the distraction of gadgets? We tried Foci

Foci is a biometric wearable that looks a lot like a bluetooth earpiece that you wear on your waist. Using tiny sensors to monitor your breathing patterns, Foci promises to help keep your mind on track.
Product Review

Do you hear what I hear? Nope. And these headphones adapt for that

A surprising pair of headphones with machine learning and audio probes gets cozy with our inner ears in our Nuraphone Hands-On review.
Product Review

Audi sets the gold standard for in-car tech. Here's why

Infotainment systems come in all shapes and sizes. Audi chose to take its newest software, MMI Touch Response, in a simpler direction by creating an intuitive interface that's smartphone-like to use.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Outdoors

Rough it in absolute comfort with the best sleeping pads available

Shopping for a sleeping pad for your next backpacking trip? Don't buy something that feels like a cold slab of stone. Narrow your selection with our carefully selected list of the best sleeping pads available.
Computing

The best Windows apps

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks!
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Cars

Tesla has shortened its Model 3 wait time to just one to three months

Production of the Tesla Model 3 has officially begun. Tesla's long-awaited entry-level model is far cheaper than the Model S and will compete head-to-head with the Chevrolet Bolt EV. We drove it and concluded it lives up to the hype.
Gaming

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.
Home Theater

Time for a TV upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about 4K Ultra HD TV

Ultra HD 4K has quickly taken over the world of TVs. But what is Ultra HD 4K, how does it work, and most importantly, should you upgrade, or keep your old TV? We explain it all right here.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Gaming

How to sync your controllers to your Xbox One, and keep them working

Wireless controllers are a mainstay of the latest console generations and incredibly convenient -- but you still need to know how to get them to connect to your consoles. Here's everything you need to know to sync your Xbox One controllers…
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. If you're looking for the absolute highest-end in image quality, these are the best HDR monitors you can buy…
Deals

Play Super Smash Bros. the right way with a GameCube controller for the Switch

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the launch of the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo is bringing back the GameCube controller to use with your Switch.
Gaming

Want to play Minecraft with friends? Here's how to start your own server

Whether you're hosting a server for a few friends or launching a massive effort to recreate your favorite show's world, you've got options for hosting your own Minecraft Server.
Gaming

Zombie campaigns in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ to support local split-screen play

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may have ditched its campaign this year, but the game will still support local cooperative play in its popular Zombies campaigns. Three will be available at launch.
Gaming

Take notes in style with Moleskine’s old-school Mario-themed books

Moleskine has unveiled a new line of Mario-themed notebooks so you can go to class or work in style. Several different types are available, including notebooks that resemble the NES and Game Boy.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ zombie story brings back fan favorites

Activision and Treyarch have released the story trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's "Blood of the Dead" zombies campaign. It stars some classic Zombies characters and takes place in Alcatraz.