Haptic technologies have been widely used in consumer and professional products for many years. Haptic actuator hardware and associated technology have been included in billions of devices such as smartphones, smart watches, game devices, and several other key types of electronic devices. However, application and content developers continue to struggle with significant differences in the performance of devices, even within a single market segment.
Human-computer interaction is increasingly utilizing multiple modes of simultaneous sensory feedback that include video and animation for the eyes, audio for the ears, and haptics for the sense of touch. But while several standards have been developed for audio and video that simultaneously enforce baseline fidelity levels and define a design space for creative exploration, the lack of global standards for haptics is widely regarded as a major impediment to large scale deployment of sophisticated actuators and rich experiences.
The involvement of global Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) like IEEE Standards Association and other international standards groups is seen as critical to easing bottlenecks resulting from poor communication between hardware manufacturers, middleware developers, platform providers, and application creators. This new collaboration will help engineer improvements for providing consistently immersive haptic feedback, linking existing work, avoiding duplication, and harmonizing outputs.
Selen Xu, OIWG Chair, said: “In the game industry, game developers seek to design sophisticated haptic content that matches the game scenario closely. Developers can be utilized to immerse the gamer in the experience, enhance situational awareness, and deepen interactive storytelling. But the diversity of user devices can be extremely difficult for game developers in development of a consistent high-resolution haptic experience. The urgent need is to harmonize standardization of essential technologies to provide a solid base for further innovation and promotion of the commercialization scale. Through this initiative OIWG and HIF are proving that we are willing and able to create a de facto standard for customers and meet their needs.”
Chris Ullrich, HIF Founding Board Member, said: “There is tremendous potential value for haptic feedback to create engaging, immersive experiences for consumers across a variety of devices and platforms. This potential value is currently being blocked by a lack of consistent haptic performance and platform application programming interfaces. Our goal at HIF is to align the haptics industry to create a fertile framework for content creators to invest in haptics for immersive media. Through partnership with OIWG, we hope to facilitate the establishment of these standards.”
OIWG and HIF welcome participation from the haptics industry to ensure interoperability and efficiency.