Good Vibrations

Much like mobile phones brought about an acronym-based texting language and smartphones allowed users to communicate with emoji's, the smart watch is introducing a a new language of its own— vibration. The idea of communicating through tactile sensations may sound like an impossible task, but in fact developers are using what they already know about people's responses to having their arms grabbed or their hands touched to create intuitive sensations that deliver information to wearers without them having to look down at their wrist.
Ahead Of The CurveImmersion CorporationIMMR
is one such company whose
centers on how the public receives tactile messages. Called "haptic feedback", Immersion is the leader in creating tiny actuators that vibrate differently for different types of messages. The company uses strength and frequency to convey whether or not a message is time-sensitive or urgent and says its technology can produce between 40 and 70 recognizably different alerts.
The Language Of Feels
Communicating with users through tactile sensations is not a new concept. At
Microsoft Inc.MSFT
, haptics researchers have been
to develop a system that will allow users to feel textures on the smooth glass surface of their tablet or phone.
Walt Disney CoDIS
is similarly looking into haptic technology in order to improve
the company's games and movies. Because this type of user engagement is relatively new, it can be difficult to determine how to correctly stimulate a consumer's tactile senses in a way that enhances their experience rather than taking away from it.
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