“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth” (Margaret Atwood), yet digital content today remains focused on visual and auditory stimulation. Even in the realm of virtual and augmented reality, sight and sound remain paramount. In contrast, methods for delivering haptic (sense of touch) feedback in commercial media are significantly less advanced than graphical and auditory feedback. Yet without a sense of touch, experiences ultimately feel hollow, virtual realities feel false, and Human-Computer Interfaces become unintuitive.”
H-Reality will be achieved by eschewing traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing together the commercial pioneers of ultrasonic non-contact haptics, state-of-the-art vibrotactile actuators, novel mathematical and tribological modelling of the skin and mechanics of touch, and experts in the psychophysical rendering of sensation. The result will be a sensory experience where digital 3D shapes and textures are made manifest in real space via modulated, focused, ultrasound, ready for the untethered hand to feel, where next-generation wearable haptics provide directional vibro-tactile stimulation, informing users of an object’s dynamics, and where computational renderings of specific materials can be distinguished via their surface properties.