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What is Haptic Feedback?

Updated: Dec 16, 2020


Haptic Feedback is a technology that allows machines to communicate with their users through touch. Human beings have five senses but electronic devices can only communicate with us using two senses: sight and sound. Haptic feedback goes beyond that by simulating the sense of touch that evokes ultra-realistic emotions within humans. In a way, this means that not only can you touch the machine but it can also touch you back. This may sound creepy but, all gamers are familiar with the vibrations and senses controllers produce while playing games. Think of the thunder of an automatic weapon shooting in an FPS or slamming into another vehicle in a racing game, that feeling of vibration and its force is widely recognizable today.

What are the different types of Haptic feedback?

At the point when we utilize our hands to investigate our general surroundings, we get two kinds of feedback - Kinesthetic and Tactile. To comprehend the distinction between the two, consider a hand picking up and investigating a baseball. As the hand goes after the ball and changes its shape to get a handle on, an extraordinary arrangement of information focuses on depicting joint points such as elbow, muscle length, and pressure is created. This data is gathered by a specific gathering of receptors implanted in muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Known as proprioceptors, these receptors convey signs to the mind, where they are prepared by the somatosensory district of the cerebral cortex. The muscle axle is one kind of proprioceptor that gives data about changes in muscle length. The Golgi ligament organ is another sort of proprioceptor that gives data about changes in muscle pressure. The cerebrum measures this sensation data to give a feeling of the baseball's gross size and shape, just as its position comparative with the hand, arm, and body.

On the other hand, Tactile is the things you feel in your fingers. There are multiple different sensors embedded in the skin. They allow your brain to feel things such as vibration, pressure, touch, texture etc.

Why Haptic feedback is so important?

Creates a feeling of Presence

As Descartes put it, “Of all our senses, touch is the one considered least deceptive and the most secure.” Tactile sensation assures the users of their reality. If this is disrupted then users may lose their sense of body.

Improves Learning and Training

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have given organizations the ability to replicate real-world scenarios in a safe environment for learners. With Haptic Feedback, learners can feel the object in the virtual world just like they would in the real world. Haptic aims to heighten the senses and revolutionizes the way users consume content.

Haptic Feedback and Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier

The amalgamation of Haptic feedback and Virtual Reality heightens immersion and interaction between the user and the content providing unimaginable experiences. Users in VR can simply manipulate the virtual objects and receive haptic feedback. However haptic sensations are still in their infancy but many researchers are working on improving the realism of haptic feedback for VR systems to an extent where the users can feel the roughness and heaviness of the objects in the virtual world similar to the real world things. Undoubtedly, haptic feedback is an indispensable component to develop immersive and interactive VR systems.

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