Ultrahaptics, founded in 2013, specializes in a technology that provides haptic feedback without needing to wear or touch any type of gear. Called “mid-air haptics”, it uses ultrasound to project sensations onto users so they feel buttons and objects. With the recent series B funding round of $23 million, the company will be expanding globally and initiating entries into the VR and AR industries as well.
The mid-air haptic technology is currently available in three forms, with more information for each to be found on its website. First up, they have an opportunity for not-for-profit and academic entities to utilize the technology for R&D via an academic program. Second, the Touch Development Kit is available where you can freely create and manipulate the tech using a software suite provided. Lastly is the evaluation program, which seems like an Early Access format for the earliest of adopters.
“We are a global business and the range of investors now reflects this more than ever,” says Ultrahaptics CEO Steve Cliffe in their blog post announcing the new development. New investors represented in this round include Dolby Family Ventures and Cornes, entities that will expand their impact into key markets around the world. They were supported once again by IP Group and Woodford Investment as well.
The potential for haptic interaction is well documented as many companies create new gloves and rigs to recreate real-life sensations in digital spaces. Ultrahaptics has created working concepts for vehicles with Bosch and Harman, so it will be interesting to see what future VR/AR Ultrahaptics prototype solutions will look like.