Haptic technology uses stimulation like vibrations or pressurized air extending digital experiences into the physical realm.
Haptic technology—one of our 100 Things to Watch for 2014—uses stimulation like vibrations, small electrical charges or pressurized air to provide touch feedback, extending digital experiences into the physical realm. At the recent Mobile World Congress, Fujitsu showed a prototype tablet that uses ultrasonic vibrations to mimic the feel of textured surfaces, among other effects. For instance, Gizmag reports, users could “touch” a crocodile onscreen or pluck at an instrument and seemingly feel the strings. Fujitsu plans to commercialize the technology by 2015.
There’s interesting potential for marketers in creating vicarious experiences. In Australia, cable provider Foxtel has paired with wearable tech company We:eX on the Alert Shirt, aimed at fans of Australian Rules Football. Working in tandem with a mobile app, the shirt “converts live game data into powerful sensations that are experienced instantly by the wearer to get you closer to your team than ever before,” according to promotional copy. In other words, the shirt lets wearers get a sense of what players are feeling in real time. A limited number are available to Foxtel subscribers. In 2013, a popular Huggies campaign in Argentina involved a haptic waistband that allowed a man to experience the way his pregnant partner could feel the baby moving.