What is the Haptic Revolution? From radios and displays to remote sensing of touch. 

Article by Madis Päev
Sales and Marketing Director @ 7Sense

7Sense develops high resolution telehaptic sight which allows blind people feel the surrounding environment through the sense of touch

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Technology has been speeding up exponentially, and it has been around for 100 years since the first radio and TV were invented. Now we can enjoy our favorite shows on demand from our smartphones with 4K displays and digital audio. Incredible, right?

However, there is still one thing missing - you can’t actually physically feel the experience. This is where extreme high-resolution (EHR) haptic technology can change the whole experience; Among other exciting use cases blind persons can now feel their surrounding environment, leading to real touch call interfaces for everyone, and to new realism and dimension in gaming.

Haptic technology can digitally create a sensation of touch through force, vibration, and motion. We've all felt it before on our smart devices when using the screen with feedback on.

Most commonly today, the haptic functionality is a primitive feedback that indicates when some action is taking place. But have you ever wondered how hundreds of haptic actuators—or fyxels™—could intelligently work together?

7Sense is an Estonian startup that has been researching and developing proprietary advanced haptic technology for the past 15 years, resulting in groundbreaking discoveries – Haptic feedback can create a haptic image with a high resolution of the digital input.

Coming from the country with the highest number of startups per capita, 7Sense’s potential is immense.. Collaborating with hubraum, Deutsche Telekom’s tech incubator, they are on the bleeding edge of the Haptic Revolution. 7Sense's first commercial product is about to be launched in summer 2024 – it gives a "telehaptic sight" to blind and visually impaired users.

Our first device, SuperBrain, allows the user to translate the surrounding world onto the skin through the remote sense of touch. Essentially, users are able to "feel" the surrounding objects, motions, speed, and distance.

7senses headset device

7Sense’s breakthrough product has led to an intriguing revelation: telehaptic technology can be used as an alternative to sight.

For us it’s easy to imagine what other applications this kind of technology has, but obvious application fields are military (both airborne and land), firefighting, remote surgery, and when the price of Haptic Material™ goes down enough, finally, end-user applications like touch call interfaces, remote presence, and gaming.

Telehaptics can save your life as you can feel the surrounding enemies on the battlefield outside of your viewpoint, even behind your back. It can guide the firefighters in situations with zero visibility. It can help the remote surgeon to exactly feel what they are doing. And – it can connect people, not only by eyes and ears but by touch!

If you have ever used a VR headset, you have already experienced a form of digital reality that feels nearly realistic to real life to the eyes. 7Sense has been able to create a similar life-imitating experience, but for the sense of touch. This new dimension opens up totally new possibilities in the ever-growing digital world – not only in Virtual Reality and gaming but more importantly in everyday life. When thinking about haptic technologies' penetration to the users, don't think VR – think mobile screens!

As hubraum and Deutsche Telekom are always on the lookout for innovative and future-bending solutions, they also feel deeply committed to supporting projects and startups like SuperBrain and 7Sense.

Together they will research how to integrate telehaptics into telecom technologies like 6G and further. It will be possible to hug your loved ones even if you are 1000 km away on your business trip in the future!

Testing 7senses device on MWC 2024 Barcelona with Tim Hoettges

The Haptic Revolution is set to completely transform our online experience, bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds. Led by pioneers like 7Sense and together with innovative companies with power, such as Deutsche Telekom, telehaptic technology holds great promise across various sectors, from inclusion to bringing the blind as part of society, to military and official use to save lives, and finally to everyday digital communication via touch call, entertainment, and gaming. As we embrace this new way of communication, the boundaries of human interaction and perception continue to expand, offering unique opportunities to connect and engage with our surroundings in ways previously unimaginable.

 

Madis Päev

Sales and Marketing Director @ 7Sense

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