Haptic Click Feel The Code On Your Skin


You are playing your favorite game on your favorite platform. You are driving a car in the game, and as you encounter a sharp turn, you hit your brakes, and start drifting into the curve. While drifting, your joystick is continuously letting you know about it.  This brings you the sensation of a fast car, cutting curves even closer. You eventually change the game, and now it’s a shooter.

linear-resonant-actuator-used-for-VR-suit

Every time you pull the trigger, your joystick vibrates for just a slight second, and you have a sensation of a gun recoil. Now it’s on for another game, this time it’s a fighter, boxing for example, and any time you deliver a blow, or take a hit, your controller vibrates to let you know what’s going on. These features are pretty awesome, right? But let’s look at them from the perspective of an embedded engineer, and see just how exactly this stuff works.

What you are experiencing is called Haptic feeedback, which is basically a machine communicating with it’s user by means of vibration patterns. Haptic feedback is done using what we call haptic technology.

There are two types of haptic feedback: kinesthetic and tactile. To simply explain the difference, let’s take an example. Let’s say you are holding your morning cup of coffee. The muscles, joints, and tendons in your finger constantly send data to your brain about how much did you stretch your fingers, how strong do they need to pull the cup towards your palm, and where exactly the cup is located in your hand.

This is kinesthetic feedback, informing you about how much your muscles and joints are used in your activity, and where an object is located. Tactic feedback would be you feeling the temperature of the cup, its surface, the pressure you put on the mug etc. Both tactile and kinesthetic feedback falls under what we call haptic feedback.

Over the years technology has advanced, and so has haptic technology, from just delivering simple vibrations, to now bringing complex data to the end user. There are numerous ways of how haptic technology has been interfaced to the end user. These include: joysticks, pencils, gloves and much more.
 

Haptic Feedback Engine Options


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