Tactai at CES2017

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Tactai was at CES 2017. From four days of sharing the future of VR with hundreds of guests, we learned that everyone is ready and excited to bring touch to VR.

Earlier this month, Tactai was invited by Ericsson to showcase our haptic technology at Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Ericsson was showcasing their upcoming high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G cellular infrastructure and they wanted to feature upcoming technologies able to leverage this new advanced network. Tactai was an obvious choice as we provide a tool to make virtual reality (in all its forms) real through touch, a process that can thrive in low-latency data transfer environment. We built a virtual environment for Ericsson in which guests could sit in a quite living room with a large flat-screen TV and virtual remote controls floating by their side. The remote control buttons were fully interactive and controlled the television content. This was to demonstrate the familiarity and intuitiveness of interacting with augmented reality using fingers. Some of the video content had context-dependent virtual items that would instantly materialize in front of guests. These items were realistically modeled and textured, and could be picked up and manipulated as if they were real. This demonstrated how passive television content can be transformed into fully interactive and captivating experiences using virtual reality and haptics. Lastly, a giant blue stuffed bear sat silently by the visitor, waiting to be found. Upon touching it, guests discovered that the bear’s fur was soft compared to its hard beady eyes and tough leathery nose. Besides being a light surprise on an otherwise busy tradeshow floor, the bear was placed to capture the imagination of guests and served as a reminder that as children, we first explored the world with touch. Haptics and virtual reality brings back that sense of awe and wonderment.

"This is incredible!"

Over four days, we performed more than 500 demos. We were overwhelmed by the various industries interested high-fidelity virtual reality haptics. Automotive, education, e-commerce, architecture, marketing, gaming, art; everyone wanted to implement the ability to touch virtual objects in their industry. Of the comments we received, it was often mentioned that adding touch to virtual objects seemed like an obvious evolution for VR, but became necessary once it was experienced. No one wanted to lose the ability to naturally interact with virtual objects once they had tried it.

After the demo, the first question was often how can I get one of these? Thankfully, signups for development kits are now open! Click here to register and be the first to bring the ability to touch virtual reality to your industry.

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Additional Info

  • About the author: Simon leads user experience development at Tactai. He has a PhD in multisensory perception and loves sharing his passion for both science and the potential of VR to anyone who will listen. Drop him a line on Twitter at @rhymeswithsimon