‘ Touch the virtual’
‘Haptics’ is derived from the Greek word ‘haptikos’
which means – ‘being able to come into contact’
THE SCIENCE OF TOUCH
• Haptics, is the technology of adding the sensation of
touch and feeling to computers.
• A haptic device gives people a sense of touch with
computer-generated environments, so that when
virtual objects are touched, they seem real and
• Understanding and enabling a compelling experience
of Presence not limited to "being there", but extended
to "being in touch" with remote or virtual surroundings.
•Haptic technology refers to technology that interfaces the user
with a virtual environment via the sense of touch by applying
forces, vibrations, and/or motions to the user.
•This mechanical stimulation may be used to assist in the creation
of virtual objects (objects existing only in a computer simulation),
for control of such virtual objects, and to enhance the remote
control of machines and devices (teleoperators).
History of Haptics
• In the early 20th century, psychophysicists introduced the
word haptic to label the subfield of their studies that
addressed human touch-based perception and
• In the 1970s and 1980s, significant research efforts in a
completely different field,robotics also began to focus on
manipulation and perception by touch. Initially concerned
with building autonomous robots, researchers soon found
that building a dexterous robotic hand was much more
complex and subtle than their initial naive hopes had
•In the early 1990s a new usage of the word haptics began to
emerge. The confluence of several emerging technologies
made virtualized haptics, or computer haptics possible.
•Much like computer graphics, computer haptics enables the
display of simulated objects to humans in an interactive
manner. However, computer haptics uses a display technology
through which objects can be physically palpated.
Basically a haptic system consist of two parts namely the
human part and the machine part. In the figure shown above,
the human part (left) senses and controls the position of the
hand, while the machine part (right) exerts forces from the
hand to simulate contact with a virtual object. Also both the
systems will be provided with necessary sensors, processors
and actuators. In the case of the human system, nerve
receptors performs sensing, brain performs processing and
muscles performs actuation of the motion performed by the
hand while in the case of the machine system, the above
mentioned functions are performed by the encoders,
computer and motors respectively.
Areas of Haptics
• Human Haptics
• Machine Haptics
• Computer Haptics
• Virtual reality is a form of human - computer
interaction providing a virtual environment that
one can explore through direct interaction with
• It’s only an imitation of the real world.
The real world
• User should be able to touch the virtual object
and feel a response from it.
• In order to complete the imitation of the real world
one should be able to interact with the
environment and get a feedback.
• This feedback is called Haptic Feedback
Haptics is implemented through different type of
interactions with a haptic device communicating with
the computer. These interactions can be categorized
into the different types of touch sensations a user can
• Tactile feedback
• Force feedback
• Refers to the sensations felt by the skin.
• It allows the user to feel things such as the texture
of surfaces, temperature and vibration.
• It reproduces the directional forces that can
result from solid boundaries.
• E.g. the weight of virtual objects.
It allows users to touch, feel and manipulate
3-D objects in virtual environments.
How are Haptic devices different?
• Common interface devices like mouse and
joystick are only input devices. No feedback.
• Haptic devices are input-output devices.
• Developed by a company named Sensable
• It works by monitoring the position of a
users fingertip or hand through optical
encoders attached to the device
• The geometric, meterial, and dynamic
properties of the world we wish to represent
can be modeled and stored.
from Sensable Technologies
This device fits over the user's entire hand
like an exoskeleton and adds resistive force
feedback to each finger.
• Connected to computer systems applying forces
to simulate the sensation of weight and
resistance providing information to the user.
• Input from the user in the form of hand, or other
body segment whereas feedback from the
computer or other is in the form of force or
Magnetic Levitation Haptic Interfaces
A technology for feeling
sensation over total body
• large and immobile systems that the user must
attach him or herself to.
• their large size and immobile nature allow for
the generation of large and varied force
• Virtual reality
• Virtual surgery
In various sports games, Altogether, more than 500 games
use force feedback, and more than 20 peripheral
manufacturers now market in excess of 100 haptics
hardware products for gaming.
Novint Falcon haptics controller
• physical interactions needed to become skilfull in
their art. A computer based teaching tool has been
developed using haptic technology to train
veterinary students to examine the bovine
reproductive tract, simulating rectactal palpation.
The student receives touch feedback from a
haptic device while palpating virtual objects. The
teacher can visualize the student's actions on a
screen and give training and guidance.
Samsung has made a phone, which vibrates, differently
for different callers. Motorola too has made haptic
Nokia and Prada
piezoelectric sensor pads
• Specialized military training can be very
expensive, particularly for vehicle pilots. Some
training procedures have an element of danger
when using real situations.
• While the initial development of virtual reality gear
and software is expensive, in the long run it‘s
much more cost effective than putting soldiers
into real vehicles or physically simulated
• Virtual reality technology also has other potential
applications that can make military activities
Haptic torch for the blind
• The device, has used in a torch, detects the
distance to objects, while a turning dial on which
the user puts his thumb indicates the changing
distance to an object. The pictured device was
tested and found to be a useful tool.
• Communication is centered through touch and the
digital world can behave like the real world.
• Working time is reduced since objects can be
captured, manipulated, modified and rescaled
• Medical field simulators allow would be surgeons
to practice digitally, gaining confidence in the
procedure before working on breathing patients.
• With haptic hardware and software, the designer
can maneuver the part and feel the result, as if
he/she were handling the physical object.
Disadvantages(areas of improvement)
• Expensive in some cases.
• Debugging issues—these are complicated.
• Haptic device position sensors have finite resolution.
• The precision of touch requires a lot of advance
design. With only a sense of touch, haptic interfaces
cannot deliver warnings.
• Haptics applications can be extremely complex,
requiring highly specialized hardware and
considerable processing power.
• Haptic is the future for online computing and
e-commerce, it will enhance the shopper
experience and help online shopper to feel the
merchandise without leave their home.
• Large potential for applications in critical fields as
well as for leisurely pleasures.
• Haptic devices must be smaller so that they are
lighter, simpler and easier to use.
• With many new haptic devices being sold to
industrial companies, haptics will soon be a part
of a person’s normal computer interaction.