Ultraleap in the UK has developed an ultrasonic sensor and transducer that it says is a fraction the size of existing devices. The sensors are key to its mid-air haptics technology for touchless controllers in vehicles and virtual reality systems for the metaverse.
The development over the last seven years combines a transducer and local processing to reduce the size and cost of the sensor and the processing requirement. The transducer, previously bought in from other suppliers (above as comparison), provides the feel of dials and buttons in mid air and is coupled with hand-tracking cameras and software. “The physical size and cost of a mid-air haptics system has been the biggest blocker to large-scale adoption,” said Tom Carter, CEO at Ultraleap in Bristol, UK. “The transducers, which project the ultrasound to create a haptic effect, are the biggest and most expensive component in this system. We have been on a mission for seven years to design and produce a better transducer, and I’m very proud to announce that we’ve succeeded.”