Frequently Asked Questions

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[~2 min read]

 

What is haptics?

The word “haptic,” from the Greek: ἁπτικός (haptikos), means “pertaining to the sense of touch.” Haptic technology recreates the sense of touch by applying force, vibration, or motion to the user.

 

What is the founder’s background?

After a PhD in the MEMS area, Cédrick Chappaz, CEO worked for more than 10 years in STMicroelectronics, a key player in the semiconductor market. He is author & co-author of more than 50 publications in the field of MEMS for mobile devices and inventor and co-inventor of 13 patents.

 

Where can you meet the team?

Most of our employees are based in Grenoble, France. We also have an office in Taiwan and in the next years we will be expanding to other countries. We welcome teams who want to discover our technology, touch it and move forward with a project.

 

What is hap2U’s expertise?

The team brings complementary expertise in material science, haptics, acoustics, embedded systems, electronics, software development, and user experience to allow users to touch and feel what is on their screens.

 

What is tactual perception?

Tactual perception refers to every type of sensation related to the sense of touch. It is based on pressure, friction, temperature. Hap2U’s solution is based on friction modulation.

 

How does hap2U technology work?

Piezo actuators generate ultrasonic vibrations on a glass screen and modify the friction of your finger. We synchronize the vibration with the position of the finger, enabling the user to feel what’s on the screen.

 

What is a piezoelectric actuator?

It is a component that converts an electrical signal into a precisely controlled physical displacement. At hap2U we use the electric field effect – the component stuck to the cover glass will contract or expand in order to deform the glass.

 

What is the Haptic Creation Tool?

The Haptic Creation Tool is a unique creation of our developers. It is a user-friendly interface designed for non-experts that lets you create your own textures and touch feedback.  With this software, pre-installed on the Xplore Touch, users are autonomous in building their own haptic feedback canvases and human machine interface applications.  All that’s needed is a little creativity to enrich the user experience with haptics!

What is deep tech ?

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[~1 min read]

 

Some of you may have already heard about this word: deep tech. It seems trendy, and many technology start-ups talk about it. But in the end, its meaning is blurred. So…what is deep tech?

Deep tech refers to disruptive & innovative technologies which are changing our everyday behavior, our user experience. It’s not new; for example, personal computers or ebooks were disruptive. These days, many new innovations are emerging like augmented reallity, virtual reallity, big data, artificial intelligence, nanotechnologies and haptic technologies, to cite a few.

Deep tech companies have a more scientific approach than classic start-ups. They work closely with laboratories through partnerships to create new technologies. Many innovations have been created in laboratories. But researchers need economic and insdustrial partners to develop their ideas. It’s a win-win partnership: companies are testing the markets, and researchers are working on R&D in laboratories.

Hap2U can be considered as a deep tech start-up: we develop a new haptic technology which is changing the way to interact with tactile surfaces. We work in partnership with laboratories specializing in haptics to improve our haptic technology every day. Researchers can work on our demonstration and development kit, the Xplore Touch, to test their assumptions.

Still have questions about deep tech? Let us know!

Haptic technologies

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[~3 min read]

 

Today let’s talk a bit about haptic technologies!

The haptic field is still new, and the coming years will see a drastic change in how we interact with our environment! How many haptic devices do you know so far? I guess, the vibration category is known by all of you. It corresponds to the one providing you with notifications or a click in your smartphone. It is commonly called the Vibrotactile. Different physical systems can provide a vibration feedback. One of the most renowned is the Eccentric Rotating Mass (ERM) that was traditionally integrated into mobile phones and gaming accessories such as controls for video-game consoles. A most recent type of physical system is Linear Resonant Actuators (LRA). It is faster than the traditional ERM and uses less power while providing a more accurate feedback. The last noticeable system to produce a vibrotactile feedback, such as a Click, is Electro-Active Polymer (EAP). The EAP are thin-layer of active material (200 µm) that can produce a deformation under a difference of voltage. With this technology there is a possibility for generating sound as well, in specific conditions of casing integration.

Now, if we leave the field of contact technologies for a quick moment, we can explore what is called mid-air haptic technologies. Basically, these haptic systems will let you feel a contact without contact! This works with using tiny kind-of-speakers which will focus all on one point on the hand or finger providing with a feeling of touch without a contact. This has nice applications for the medical field. It sounds promising and we are still expecting to see it happening in real life.

Then come the haptic technologies based on Friction-Modulation. Behind this barbaric term, relies a very simple principle in which the feeling of touch comes from a change in the friction between the finger and the interface. When you can precisely control the friction and its changes from rough to smooth and so on, then the possibilities of haptic rendering become endless. You can expect feeling fabric materials directly on your smartphone screen for instance. Different ways to monitor the friction exist and when having a specific look at hap2U technology, we can realize that is it purely based on mechanical vibration.

This vibration occurs at ultrasonic frequencies (above 20 kHz) and generates a thin-film of pressurized air between your finger and the screen thus modifying the friction. This way the vibration can be controlled and so is the feeling of touch. The pure mechanical characteristic means it has a high reliability in all environments (Daily life, Automotive, Industry …). Finally, this technology enables multiple features at the same time: haptic feedback, click function, multitouch and audio provided directly from the screen! There are a lot to expect from hap2U tech in a near-future !

The future of the automotive experience with haptic technology

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[~2 min read]

 

Close your eyes and think of your car without any mechanical buttons.  No power window switches, no fan controls, no windshield wiper buttons. Surfaces are streamlined, modern, clean.

Hap2U is on the way to bringing this to reality – our haptic technology can be integrated into more than just displays.  It is compatible with any hard surface, opening the possibility for it to be integrated into dashboards, windows, panels…and more.

 

Here are some of the ideas we’ve already come up with.  What other ideas do you have?

  • Haptic center console displays to control entertainment, navigation, and communication menus
  • To replace climate control buttons and switches
  • On or behind the steering wheel to activate and disactivate cruise control
  • Below the dashboard to turn on the windshield wipers
  • To replace power window switches, on the door armrest or directly on the window
  • In a car simulator, to learn how to drive
  • On your keyless entry fob to lock and unlock the car and open the trunk
What do you feel with hap2U technology

How does it feel when you touch hap2U technology?

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[~2 min read]

 

It is very difficult to explain the kind of feeling you experience with hap2U haptic technology.

You have to touch it to understand how it feels. Many people ask us if it is like touching textures or real buttons. But it is not. It is something new, different than everything you have ever experienced before. In order to put words on this feeling, I asked a few people outside of the company to share their experiences with hap2U technology.

 

Micah Murray – Cognitive neuroscientist at University of Lausanne

“The device impressively provides a haptic image that one can actively explore with a fingertip. The sensations and textures are convincing and can convey a clear impression of an object’s surface that one can moreover manipulate with a high level of precision even in the absence of any visual feedback.”

 

Vincent Blech – Museography, Universcience

“It was surprising at first. It felt almost strange, funny. Then I thought “Wow! They really did it!” and I wanted to touch and explore more: what else can they do with it? How accurate is it? How realistic is the sensation? What if I close my eyes? In the end, I wanted to forward to the future and see fully achieved applications.”

 

Philippe Wieczorek – Director, Software Department, Minalogic

“I heard about Hap2U for the first time a while ago, when the company was founded. At that time the concept was promising, but I only realized the potential of the technology when I experienced it at CES 2017 – you definitely should try to touch the fish – or the chameleon, the updated version of the demo – and feel the whaoo effect. Hap2U technology is clearly a game changer with hundreds immediate applications and thousands more yet to invent !”*

 

Francois Modarresse, VP Media Practice, EAEC

“I had some background with haptics since my days in the gaming and mobile industries. But hap2U brought that experience to a whole new level. Device makers, app developers, get the creative juices flowing: there is quite a new tool for you.”

 

Emily Huschen – Director of Marketing & Business Development, hap2U

“I remember the first time I tested a prototype sometime in 2016. I didn’t quite understand what was happening underneath my fingertip, some static electricity or vibration?  But after a few minutes, and other demos tested, I was sold on the idea and convinced of its potential.  So much that I joined the team in July 2017!”

 

Stevie Wonder at CES 2018, Las Vegas

“This is great.”

 

Eric Vezzoli – CEO, Go Touch VR

“the first time I tested ultrasonic technology was back in 2013. I was in the university lab for the interview for my PhD, and it was the first time that I could really test a Haptics technology. I was literally blown away the first time I touched it from the possibilities that such a technology could bring in real world applications. From that time, I was obsessed with Haptics”

 

Margot Coïc – Universcience

“It was surprising and tickling. The stimulus is strong and it gives materiality to the image.”

Disruptive technology & hap2U

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[~2 min read]

 

Hey guys!

Here we are again! Today, we’re going to talk about disruptive technologies, something you probably have already heard about!

 

Disruptive technology, what is it?

A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation creates new markets or completely changes an existing market by modifying the way users interact with the products and/or services. It could also create a new need with a completely new product. It’s linked to the user experience and how people interact with their environment. These innovations are created by companies, laboratories or even individuals. For example, personal computers, smartphones, and LCD displays have been disruptive technologies.

 

Some disruptive technologies in 2018

In 2018, we have already seen many disruptive technologies in several fields that promise to change our lives:

  • Artificial Intelligence (bots, algorithms)
  • Cybersecurity
  • Renewables and Clean Energy
  • Smart Health Tech
  • Immersive Experiences (AR, VR, mixed reality)
  • Haptics

 

What about hap2U?

We work on a technology based on ultrasonic haptics, which modifies the friction of your finger to create a textured haptic feedback. Our technology brings the sense of touch to any tactile surface. Just by tapping or sliding your finger on the screen, you feel like you are turning a real knob, pushing a real cursor and perceiving various textures. You’ve probably never felt something like it before, but just imagine how it could change the user experience for the smartphone, industrial controls or automobile navigation, for example. We don’t know all of the possible uses yet, and we need your imagination!

 

What if it was you who created the next disruptive innovation?

Say “Hi” to our Xplore Touch

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[~1 min read]

 

Hey hey!

So, some of you have (rightfully!) asked, “What is it exactly that you’re selling?”  You’re right.  Let’s talk about our business today…specifically, our development kit, the Xplore Touch.

The Xplore Touch was born out of necessity – if our vision is to begin a haptic touchscreen revolution, we needed to start somewhere!  The Xplore Touch does it all – it is a demonstrator, an evaluation kit, and a development kit. It includes a powerful software development kit, the Haptic Creation Tool. With this software, you are autonomous in building your own haptic feedback canvases and human machine interface applications.   It is also constantly evolving to include updates to our technology.  Talk about a jack-of-all-trades!

The first version was shipped to our very early adopters in September 2017.  They used it to show management, test functionalities, and build applications.  Thanks to feedback from all of you, we are now on our forth version, having added a battery for mobile use and made important improvements in design, quality, and user experience.  Customers use the Xplore Touch as a first step to prototyping – they test  user experience and various applications.

This new batch is under development, with the first deliveries anticipated for mid-May.  If you’re interested in reserving yours, let us know!

Click here for more information on the Xplore Touch.

What is haptics?

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[~2 min read]

 

Hey guys!

Today, we’re going to talk about technology, but don’t panic, it will be simple enough! Many of you frequently ask about haptics and try to understand what hap2U is all about. I tried to explain as simply as possible.

 

Haptics, what does it mean?

The term “haptics” is used to designate any form of interaction involving touch (for example, haptic perception means recognizing objects through touch). It also includes communicating through touch and technologies that bring the sense of touch to users. Touch has 3 primary dimensions: thermal (feeling of warm / cold), hardness (pressure, density) and texture (friction).

 

What about haptic technology?

When we talk about haptic technology, we are referring to the technologies recreating the sense of touch in a user interface by applying force, vibration, motion and other feelings to provide information to an end user. You have probably also heard about “haptic feedback.”

 

Why is “haptics” a trend?

You may have noticed, with Apple’s Taptic Engine, a lot of media talk about “haptics” and “haptic feedback.” Many industries are looking for this type of technology to improve the user experience of their products. Some haptic feedback already exists: for example, when your smartphone vibrates to confirm an action and interact with you, it’s a specific form of haptic feedback. It’s a constantly-evolving science, and many types of haptic feedback are being developed… or don’t exist yet!

 

What about hap2U?

We work on a technology which modifies the friction of your finger to create a textured haptic feedback. Our technology brings the sense of touch to any tactile surface. Just by tapping or sliding your finger on the screen, you feel like you are turning a real knob, pushing a real cursor and perceiving various textures.

I hope it’s now more understandable for you; it wasn’t so difficult after all? 😀

 

Coming soon:
– Haptic technologies, what are the differences between them?
– Disruptive technology, what’s involved?

Haptics innovations at CES 2018

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[~2 min read]

CES 2018 was an opportunity to discover extraordinary innovations! And if there is one topic that keeps coming up, it’s haptics. Like optics is about the science of sight, haptics is about the science of touch.

For a long time, companies focused on the visual or auditory aspects of technology. 4K screens with sound systems that are increasingly more powerful are everywhere: an eyeful…and an earful! But we forget one of our senses, even though it has so much presence in our daily life.  It has been neglected - the sense touch. And touch is also entitled to its moment of glory, especially at CES where we found four startups who presented their innovation in the field of haptics at the largest electronics show in the world.

TACTICAL HAPTICS

Tactical Haptics is an American startup created in 2013 proposes to improve the experience of virtual reality with two game controllers equipped with haptic feedback. But more than simple vibrations, their technology combines the player's movements with a strength / resistance effect! These controllers, called Reactive Grip, can be used independently of each other but they can also be combined to form a new virtual object in the game (like a steering wheel for example). Their technology is therefore primarily aimed at the video game market, which will delight gamers in search of more immersive experiences.

Hap2U meets Tactical Haptics
LOFELT

This German startup has introduced a bracelet equipped with haptic technology to act as a subwoofer ... on your body! You listen to your music and the bracelet synchronizes at low frequencies to send them to your wrist. An innovation that will appeal to all audiophiles, but not only. The Lofelt technology behind this bracelet also addresses other markets, including virtual reality or smartphones.

Hap2U meets Lofelt
GO TOUCH VR

Go Touch VR is a young and growing French start-up located in Lille aims to create "virtual touch." Thanks to a small box that we clip on the fingertip, you can now not only feel virtual objects, but also interact with them and manipulate them. It is therefore an additional dimension added to virtual reality to bring even more realism to the experience. From computer-aided design to healthcare to industry, the applications of this technology are numerous!

Hap2U meets Go Touch VR
AURASENS

French Startup created in 2016, Aurasens uses haptic technology to allow users not only to listen to music but to feel the music through a chair that sends vibrations throughout the body synchronized with the music. The experience is a particularly immersive, guaranteed sensation!

Hap2U meets Aurasens