Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ultra Haptics

Saw a great presentation last week by Sriram at the Pervasive Media studios in Bristol of some research at Bristol University into Ultra-Haptics. Ultra-Haptics is a system for creating haptic feedback in mid-air. It uses a property of ultrasound called “acoustic radiation pressure”. Waves of ultrasound displace the air, creating a pressure difference. By causing many waves to arrive at the same place simultaneously, a noticeable pressure difference is created at that point. With this method, we are able to create multiple, concurrent points of haptic feedback in mid-air.

 Here a small polystyrene ball is used to play Pong with virtual paddles-"ultra tangibles"

We would like to invite you to join us for this exploratory, practical workshop, investigating how the emerging field of UltraHaptics might be used in creative context.
UltraHaptics is a multi-point haptic feedback system that allows users to experience haptic feedback simultaneously in multiple locations. This feedback is created in mid-air – so users don’t have to touch or hold any device to experience it.

The use of ultrasonic vibrations is a new technique for delivering tactile sensations to the user. In essence, a series of ultrasonic transducers emit very high frequency sound waves. When all of the sound waves meet at the same location at the same time, they create sensations on a human’s skin.
More information on UltraHaptics can be found at
The University of Bristol and Pervasive Media Studio are joining forces to produce a workshop designed to better understand how creative practitioners and developers can work together in creating new and novel user experiences using a unique haptic system.

  1. Explore the design space and identify various application scenarios along with limitations and benefits of our system.
  2. Develop and share some ideas around haptic experiences, test and rapid prototype ideas in a supported environment.
  3. Investigate how designers and developers talk/ think together about designing multi-sensory experiences.

10 to 15 designers and developers working together in groups over two days. If you are interested in participating then please contact or Sriram Subramanian. We will aim to provide you with all the resources needed but if you have your own laptop it would be helpful to bring it along.


Each group will have access to the haptic kit along with a couple of projectors, and cameras. Through a series of guided and open sessions the groups will design and create a haptic experience. There will be several breakout sessions where teams can work on their design. We are keen to learn more about the design process so we will be talking and videoing (without disturbing) how the groups interact with each other during the breakout sessions. The workshop will finish in a summative group session.

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