Exclusive Interview with Hrvoje Benko of Microsoft

At Smart Haptics 2017, Microsoft will present duing The Future of VR/AR and Gaming session on day one of the conference. Recently, advisory board member Hrvoje Benko, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, spoke with Smithers Apex about recent innovations within haptics and some of the challenges within the haptic industry.  

Smithers Apex: What are some challenges going on within the haptic industry? 

Hrvoje Benko: One of the main challenges for widespread adoption of richer haptics in VR and Gaming scenarios is that currently there is little proof that the benefits of adding more complex haptics outweigh the costs and complexity of adding such actuators. While such benefits are clear in other domains, such as surgical simulations, VR and gaming is looking for low cost, reliable and mass-marketable solutions and are therefore still stuck with primarily vibro-tactile haptics.

Smithers Apex: What are some recent innovations going on within haptics that everyone should know about?

Hrvoje Benko: I am particularly curious about the developments of soft actuators.

Smithers Apex: Why do you think a haptics conference is important at this time?

Hrvoje Benko: I believe that a compelling haptics solution is a key component of future AR/VR experiences. With the exploding interested in AR/VR, I am super excited to see an industrial conference completely dedicated to all things haptics. I can see that the momentum is building now and this conferences is an important step to connect with the right people, and get an insight what other folks in the industry are doing.