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Multiuser Haptics debuts at CES to great acclaim

Big news for collaborative training, design reviews, and other team projects: HaptX has added improved multiuser networking functionality to our software development kit, adding even higher value in the form of skill acquisition speed and accuracy, and in concept iteration. This feature works with HaptX Gloves DK2 and our new, lower-cost, higher-performance HaptX Gloves G1.

At the Consumer Electronics Show last month, we were blown away by the response to our HaptX woodblocks multiplayer game event! We showed how you and your co-workers can interact in the same virtual environment and feel the same objects, regardless of your physical location, with HaptX Gloves. Team members can feel like they are standing right next to each other in VR – where they handle the same objects at the same time – and the haptics work perfectly.

You can imagine training applications with a teacher physically guiding a student, or design reviews with design teams in different locations around the world all agreeing that a design now feels right. This is the future of collaboration in the metaverse.

“Another journalist was in another VR headset with haptic gloves playing next to me. We never made contact, but occasionally we shook hands virtually or gave high-fives,” reports CNET journalist Scott Stein on the multiuser haptics demo he tried last month at CES, wearing HaptX Gloves DK2. “Our fingers touching felt… well, oddly real, like sensing someone’s finger touching your glove.”

The HaptX SDK provides SteamVR support, plug-ins for Unreal Engine and Unity, and a C++ API, along with a trove of haptic effects, templates, and demos, making it easy to create haptic VR experiences for HaptX Gloves. We provide a low-level C++ API that’s ROS-capable, allowing for integration with robotic equipment. Interested in downloading the HaptX SDK? Click here to talk with the HaptX team.

Where can you try HaptX Gloves this year?

Throughout 2023, we’ll be demonstrating the power and productivity enabled by multiuser haptics and our industry-leading tactile and force feedback at these U.S. and European conferences, and would love to meet you there:

If unable to visit us at a conference, click here to schedule a virtual meeting and discuss how you can experience the enhanced sense of embodiment and presence enabled by HaptX Gloves G1.

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Research Survey [click here]: Coventry University Research Collaboration with HaptX investigates use of haptic gloves in healthcare training


Healthcare educators, students, and clinicians are invited to participate in a global research study led by England’s fastest growing public research university, Coventry University, to share your opinions about the use of haptics gloves in healthcare education.

By completing the survey, you will help deepen understanding of appropriate applications and barriers to implementation—and be part of the link between research, practice, and education to make a difference in patient care at local, national, and global levels.

As VR-based surgical training becomes more prevalent, the use of haptics in clinical education is intended to enable more efficient and effective training simulations, and help learners develop greater precision and dexterity.

This study’s results will build on the findings from previous studies. In this 2021 research report on haptics in healthcare training, for example, which focused on laparoscopic methods, students provided with haptic feedback showed substantial improvements in overall performance and flow experience, scoring higher than students whose VR laparoscopy training did not provide touch simulation.

Overseen by Assistant Professor & Advanced Clinical Practitioner Marc Gilbey for Coventry University’s Centre for Healthcare Research, the survey kicks off a multi-phase Coventry University Research Collaboration, including current plans for a clinical study of HaptX Gloves G1™ in procedural training in palpation and physical therapy activities. Marc also is a physical therapist working toward his PhD on the integration of haptics in healthcare education.

Haptics in VR healthcare training, surgical planning, telemedicine, and other areas

HaptX Gloves have been used to develop emergency trauma care training for U.S. Army medics. In 2020, the U.S. Defense Health Agency awarded HaptX and our partners Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) and the Mayo Clinic, a contract to develop a haptic training system. The contract targeted improving the skills of U.S. Army soldiers who are responsible for administering emergency trauma care on the battlefield. HaptX and its partners worked to integrate HaptX’s true-contact haptics with the Army’s Tactical Casualty Combat Care (TC3) environment. Using HaptX Gloves DK2 systems, haptic effects were applied to the virtual simulations enabling trainees to physically feel and practice dexterous manual motions, such as grasping and using supplies, feeling the accurate location on a patient’s body, turning the patient’s body, etc.

Read: 2021 report on the haptics-based VR training for burn care treatment for the Defense Health Agency 

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MIT Reality Hack team InTouch wins with HaptX SDK

What to do when challenged to produce the most creative, immersive geospatial solution using the ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unity or Unreal Engine — and to make it happen in 2-1/2 days? By wearing HaptX Gloves and tapping into the flexible, friendly HaptX SDK, the enterprising VR dev team “InTouch” built an exceptional experience that won the recent MIT Reality Hack category sponsored by ESRI.

Inspired by “the realization that global challenges are often abstract and that spatial data presentation can feel raw and distant,” the InTouch team aimed to “bridge that gap by creating an application that brings data to life in a tangible and impactful way.”

To do so, Team InTouch used HaptX Gloves and VR headsets to present data in tactile and immersive ways. The prototype is built with Unity, integrating ArcGIS Maps SDK and the HaptX SDK . Collaborating with the HaptX team, the students adapted the libraries in the ArcGIS SDK and HaptX SDK to work together in one application. The team also sourced ESRI Datasets, converting/preprocessing them to upload to ArcGIS Online REST API and show 3D models on the map.

InTouch was created by design engineer and media artist Shin Komiya and geospatial VR developer Maciek Ziarkowski, along with Nemo Shi, Rajshree Saraf, and Chris Papenfuss.

Kudos to Team InTouch!!

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HaptX welcomes your questions and suggestions

If your organization’s virtual reality and robotics applications can benefit from integrating realistic touch, we’re happy to discuss your needs and goals, and to explore workflow integration and optimization. Let us know how we can help you succeed. 

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