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!

Prototyping with hap2U

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[~3 min read]

 

At some point in time in your interactions with us, many of you have asked at least one of the following questions:

  • “Can your haptic technology be integrated into my device?”
  • “Up to what size of screen?”
  • “On what kind of material? Does it work on plastic?”
  • “What kind of applications have been built for my industry?”
  • “Can you replicate this particular texture?”
  • “What would be better, the discrete ceramics or hPiezo technology?”
  • “How quickly will my product be able to go to market?”

The answers are never simple.  It depends!

 

On what?

A number of factors influence the haptic effect and proposed design for any given device – from the layers of the display stack to the type of materials used to the type of use case imagined. Each of our partners will have their own specifications – which means that it is difficult to provide standard answers.  Instead, we prefer to study each case and provide a personalized proposal for a prototyping or proof-of-concept project.

 

These projects go something like this:

Step 1 – Understanding the project

In most cases, this first step is a face-to-face workshop where objectives are defined, and expectations and timelines are discussed.  Technical requirements are identified, and applicative use cases are described.  The partnership begins here, usually with a face-to-face workshop between the teams.

Step 2 – Technical feasibility pre-study

When a partner has an existing device or product into which they would like to integrate our technology, a preliminary technical feasibility pre-study is required.  These pre-studies are to identify and limit project risks and identify the complexity of the project (to estimate cost and timelines). Under strict confidentiality agreements, the partner and hap2U exchange information, including a sample that will be analyzed by our experts following several simulations.  The results of this pre-study are a technical report of pre-study results & technical feasibility, as well as the prototyping or POC project planning and budgets.

Step 3 – Project start

Armed with the project specifications, results of the technical pre-study (if required), and project plan our project teams get to work.  To simplify, we break our projects down into several work packages, often with go/no-go decisions at key stages.  These phases are used as touch points with our partners, to ensure that the project is aligned with expectations.   Readjustments to the project planning and deadlines may also be discussed at this time, and mock-ups of software development are discussed. Most POCs run from 3-6 months.

Step 4 – Prototype validation

Once the prototype and haptic applications are delivered to the partner, the ball is in their court for user testing.  In addition to validation by the partner, we suggest that they share the prototype with their customers through focus groups or specialized user testing.  In some projects, we offer the possibility to make modifications (for example, of the software application) even after delivery.

Post-project

Hap2U is a deep tech company – we design and develop the haptic technology that can be embedded into any hard surface or into any device.  Once a prototype has been validated, our business model is to work with partners to design their haptic devices for the best results, then transfer our technology know-how for manufacturing by them or their suppliers.  The timeline of this phase will depend on the manufacturing know-how and capacity of our partners and their suppliers, but we will work with them to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.

 

If you are interested in working with us on a POC, please contact us with the details of your project!

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?