Smithers Apex: Why is a haptics conference so important right now? What do people need to know about what is going on in the industry?
Daniel Büttner: Today we are at a turning point for haptics. Exponential innovation in the fields of audio and visual technologies have left haptics behind. As we move further into immersive user experiences in AR, VR, gaming and beyond, the haptics industry has to catch up to create truly natural haptic experiences that fully complement what you see and what you hear. Smart Haptics will bring industry heavyweights together to create a better future for haptics.
Smithers Apex: What is the greatest advancement in haptics at the moment, and what do people have to look forward to?
Daniel Büttner: In the very near future, the use of high-definition, sound-driven (SD) touch feedback will deliver truly natural sensory interactions between people and their devices. The use of sound to drive haptics is not new, but we’ve made huge leaps in the hardware and software behind it. As a result, the user experiences we are able to deliver today are unparalleled.
I predict this type of SD haptics will become widespread, like wireless connectivity or touch screen technology. SD haptics will move quickly from something special to something that people expect in all their favorite devices. This is what we can look forward to.
Smithers Apex: What are some challenges going on within the haptics industry at the moment?
Daniel Büttner: Haptics are often considered as a secondary feature in product and experience design. When you compare the fluid graphics, clear audio and seamless user interfaces found in the latest consumer products with the simple vibrations and buzzes they deliver, it becomes clear that haptics is almost an afterthought. Placing haptics on the same level as audio and video is our biggest challenge. The haptics industry needs to convince product and experience designers that haptics can truly complete the audio-visual experience to create profound connections between users and their devices.
Smithers Apex: What or who are you excited to see at Smart Haptics 2017?
Daniel Büttner: I’m most excited to see (and feel) the hands-on demos and get a sense of what everyone is working on. This will bring the fascinating talks to life.