While Samsung has already been implementing basic forms of Haptics technology in some of their mobile products, a recently signed multi-year license agreement with Immersion Corporation will likely propel them forward even further. As you are no doubt already aware, the mobile market has been flourishing over the course of the last couple of years, and Samsung (who sold 86.6 million units in the first quarter of 2012) has emerged as the pack leader.
Since it’s clear that Samsung is riding atop this wave ahead of everyone else, it’s also apparent that they are the company to watch when it comes to mobile tech. Moreover, if they’re starting to focus more on Haptics, this might be a signal that new uses for the technology in consumer markets might very well be just around the corner.
Their partner in this arrangement, Immersion corp., is arguably the most well-known and high-profile Company when it comes to the development and distribution of Haptics technology. But just who is Immersion, and what separates them from all the others? The organization itself was apparently founded in 1993 and boasts a whopping 1200 related patents which are associated with their globally dispersed products.
Aside from providing Haptics tech for businesses focusing on mobile markets, Immersion is also working alongside those involved in the medical, gaming, automotive, as well as consumer electronics markets. One of their most recent efforts, called “tactile presence”, was created in order to share “physical” data between two devices. In short, this means that as you are typing you might be able to feel the sensations of the other person’s fingers.
Naturally, this is all part of a concerted effort to push electronic devices toward being able to convey “emotional” information. Needless to say, this is all very exciting, especially for consumers. Since Samsung is clearly interested in breaking new ground with mobile technology, it’s very likely that we’ll see many others following suit.
The question is – what does this mean for the world at large? Well, it’s entirely possible that Haptics technology is going to transform the IT world in some large or small way in the very near future. When you really sit down and look at what Haptics is, it becomes clear that we’re really talking about additional data here. In other words, Haptics is fast becoming another potential source for users to input additional information. Likewise, this is also an opportunity for organizations to gather critical data about its users in a very streamlined fashion (for whatever purpose). Perhaps Haptics can be used to determine the emotional states of users in the near future? In this way, it might be possible to not only develop simple integrated systems for helping people to manage perceived stress, but also to more accurately assess when a person is more apt to make purchases (useful in marketing).
Anyone who works in an IT-related capacity should strongly consider looking at additional training and education materials in the field of Haptics. After all, we’re really talking about filling in the gap when it comes to sensory data here (the 5 senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and of course, touch). The point is, one could make the argument that one of the goals of the technological revolution is to be able to deliver and collect information to and from the 5 human senses.
In this way, Haptics technology puts us one step closer toward realizing this (and others are working smell and taste as we speak). It’s pretty much basic reasoning; since we’re seeing one of the largest mobile developers moving in the direction of Haptics it’s safe to assume that there could be growth in this area. Furthermore, growth means that more and more employment opportunities will open up, which in turn implies that more IT professionals with experience may be required.
So, what’s the bottom line? We’re seeing a very powerful mobile tech company team up with one of the heavy hitters in the world of Haptics, and via a multi-year contract, no less. It’s safe to assume at this point that these two organizations have some long-term plans on their minds. According to statements made by key individuals within Immersion, they’re actually interesting in further monetization of their technologies, particularly within the mobile markets. Similarly, Samsung is always on the lookout for the next big thing, so it’s going to be very interesting to see what they roll out over the course of the next few years.