The things we wear are getting smarter every day.
Wearables, or wearable tech, are electronic devices worn by an individual, that connect that person to hardware & software that performs a specific series of functions.
The hardware is usually your smart phone, and the “functions” are becoming endless.
You can easily track your heart rate, number of steps taken, motions of your arms/hands/fingers, etc. — with a wearable and your iPhone or Android.
Haptics, or haptic feedback, is when an individual interacts with an interface of some sort (like a screen, joystick, clothing, etc.), where that interface responds with some form of physical sensory response.
For example, on some smart phones, when you type on the on-screen keyboard, the screen will vibrate each time you press a letter or number to acknowledge that you’ve pressed the key.
Haptics comes in many forms, and the use of haptics in wearables has grown exponentially in the recent years.
One simple example of a wearable that utilizes haptics, is Lumo Lift.
Lumo is a little device that you wear, that helps you keep good posture while sitting through a brief series of vibration reminders.
Another more advanced example of a haptic wearable is SubPac, a wearable, tactile audio system.
You feel the music, instead of just hearing it.
Even further, there a companies like Nadi, who are integrating haptics into yoga/fitness clothing.
The haptic-enabled yoga pants provides feedback to the wearer to help them keep good yoga posture.
If you’re interested in this category, you should visit Wearable.com (link).
It’s a great resource site for wearable technology.
Full-Body Haptic Suit
It’ll be no surprise, that virtual or augmented reality is a great application for wearable haptics.
The idea of feeling a VR or AR experience over just seeing it, is extremely exciting.
The folks over at Teslasuit (link) have created the world’s first full-body haptic suit.
The Teslasuit is made of smart textile that allows transfer sensations by tiny electrical impulses.
It is controlled by an on-board mini-computer.
Teslasuit is compatible with most VR Headsets and connects to all Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled devices.
Not only does Teslasuit incorporate haptic technology, it also has the following capability:
- Motion capture
- Climate control
- GPS positioning (provides geo-location coordinates for the suit location and movement tracking)
Pretty amazing stuff, that I can’t wait to experience.
While the Teslasuit is more of an outerwear suit, I believe there are endless possibilities with haptic inner-wearables.
Yes, haptics in your underwear, undershirts, & socks.
I’ve already begun hearing about brands incorporating this type of technology into innerwear and other base-layer clothing, but it’s still very much in the prototype stages.
Thoughts About Haptics?
What are your experiences or thoughts about this type of technology?
Tell me about it in the comments section below.