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What is Haptics? Definition, Types and Technology

Hello Reader, Are you looking for haptics or haptic technology on the internet? If you want to know what is Haptics? Definition, Types and Technology in one article, then you are reading the right article. In this article, complete information related to Haptics will be explained.

Haptic technologies are used for communication, to create virtual objects in computer simulations, to control virtual objects, and to enhance the remote control of machines and equipment. Read the article completely, here you are going to get very important information which cannot be found in any other article.


What is haptics? Definition, Types and Technology

The word haptics is derived from the Greek word haptikos which means touch or relating to the sense of touch. Haptics or haptic technology, also known as kinesthetic communication or 3D touch, is the use of tactile sensors in haptic devices that measure the forces exerted by the user on an interface.

Haptics is the science and technology that deals with the transmission and understanding of information through touch. As I said, haptic means anything related to the sense of touch.

The sense of touch can be classified as passive and active, and the term haptic is often associated with active touch to communicate or identify objects. Most researchers distinguish the ability to touch in humans into three sensory systems- cutaneous, kinaesthetic, and haptic.

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What is Haptics?

However, according to science and technology, the definition of haptics is related to the use of tactile sensations in interfaces. Haptics is the science and technology of transmitting and perceiving information through the sense of touch.

The term haptics is often associated with active touch to communicate or identify objects. The use of technology that stimulates the senses of touch and motion, especially in remote operation or computer simulation to reproduce the sensations that would be felt by a user directly interacting with physical objects.

In other words, haptics is defined as a technology that transmits tactile information using sensations such as vibration, touch, and force feedback. Virtual reality systems and real-world technologies use haptics to enhance interaction with humans.

Types of Haptic Feedback Technologies

Mainly there are five types of haptic feedback technologies which are mentioned below-
  • Vibrotactile,
  • Force,
  • Electrotactile,
  • Ultrasonic,
  • Thermal.

Vibrotactile Feedback

Vibrotactile feedback is the most simple and common type of haptics. Vibrostimulators exert pressure on certain receptors of the human skin. These receptors resemble the structure of the layers of an onion and can sense vibrations of up to 1000 Hz. Normal human speech frequencies vary from 80 to 250 Hz, so our skin can actually perceive sound.

Force Feedback

This haptic technology first debuted in the late 1960s. Therefore, it is by far the most studied and well-implemented haptic technology in various applications.

Force feedback stimulates the ligaments and muscles in the musculoskeletal system through our skin, whereas another type of haptics affects the top layers of skin receptors (a technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation—TNS). Dermal devices (involving the outer layer of skin) are quite compact and apply acupressure to small areas of the body.

Force device are often large and force device move alongside the human and exert impact on large areas of the body, such as the arms or legs. These devices are much more complex, as they are designed to both exert force on a body part and provide the individual with sufficient freedom of motion.

There are two types of force feedback devices: biomimetic and non-biomimetic by simulating human body parts. Biomimetic devices move in the form of human organs and resemble their forms. Such devices are difficult to develop because ideally, they should have the functionality of the human body and be suitable for different people. Non-biomimetic devices can be very different from the human body.

Another classification of force feedback devices (according to the direction of the applied force) includes resistive and active devices. Resistive devices limit the movement of the user with the help of brakes.

Active devices restrict the user's movements or move the body in space by means of motors. Active devices can simulate a wide area of interactions, but they generally more powerful than passive devices, and are more difficult to control.

Electrotactile Feedback

Electrotactiles affect both receptors and nerve endings by causing electrical impulses. Through electrical impulses, a user can obtain a wide range of sensations that cannot be reproduced with any other current feedback system.

There are many forms of this type of response which depend on the intensity and frequency of stimuli given to the skin. Sensations may also vary depending on current, voltage, material, wave form, electrode size, contact force, hydration, and skin type.

The main advantage of electro-haptic feedback systems compared to vibrotactile or force feedback is the absence of mechanical or moving parts. Another advantage of electro-neural stimulation is that electrodes can be assembled into compact arrays and used to implement electrotactile displays.

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology has been used in medicine for more than 30 years and its safety is proven. Furthermore, electrical signals are the basis of the nervous system, so we can confidently say that this type of haptic feedback is best suited for generating and simulating real-world sensations.

Ultrasonic Tactile Feedback

Ultrasound is a sound wave of high frequency. One or more ultrasound emitters are used to create the micro-reaction. In such devices, an emitter located on one part of the body sends a signal to another part. This principle of transmission is known as  acoustic time reversal.

To ensure impact over large areas, it is necessary to create haptic feedback fields. One emitter by itself is not powerful enough, so multiple emitters are used. Together they form an invisible, tangible interface to the air. Ultrasound waves produce vibrations that humans can feel through the skin.

The main advantage of ultrasonic technology is that it does not require the user to wear any assistive device. Also this type of haptic feedback is significantly more expensive and generally less perceptible than previously considered vibrotactile or electrotactile feedback.

Thermal Feedback

The actuators grid is used for thermal feedback formation. This make the direct contact with the skin. Typically, thermoelectric diodes (based on the Peltier effect) are used to implement this effect.

Unlike tactile communication, it is difficult to precisely define the location of a thermal stimulus. Therefore, multiple actuators are not needed to create a heat or cold response, and they cannot be placed so close to each other. Thus designing thermal feedback devices becomes even easier.

However, heat or any form of energy cannot be created due to the law of conservation of energy. It can only be change from one form to another. Furthermore, it must be done quickly in order to provide a realistic feel. Therefore, haptic suits that use thermal feedback require considerable energy.

Future of Haptic Technology

Although haptic technology is not a new technology it has been around for many years but in the last few years this field has seen tremendous growth. Still this technique is more famous in America and some other countries. The global haptic technology market is anticipated to grow at rate of 12% by 2026.

With new advancements and applications becoming more widely available, from video games, businesses are looking for ways to implement this technology into their operations, marketing and consumer experiences.

If you use this innovative technology, you can provide an enhanced experience to your users through which they feel more connected and experienced with your products and brand.

Use of Haptic Technology

Haptic technology offers many potential benefits. Here are several use cases for touch-based solutions that can harness the benefits of haptics to provide a better user experience.

Haptic Technology for the Welfare

Advances in wearable haptics technology offer great opportunities for the healthtech industry. Biometric data is collected by real-time haptics and the user experience can be adjusted to suit the user.

Better feedback and data collection will make it possible for better user experience and better health outcomes. TouchPoints reports that its wearable devices can reduce stress by up to 75% in 30 seconds.

Companies involved in posture correction, such as ergonomic furniture manufacturers, app makers, or chiropractors, can take advantage of these improvements in technology.

Haptics Technology for Product Design

Haptic technology can improve the user experience in many ways through tactile optimization. Haptics will also play a major role in automotive infotainment systems.

Touch screens can be more responsive and offer a range of settings depending on the driver's preference. Some other additional applications pedal feedback and steering wheel enhancement used for the automotive.

Haptics Technology for Easy Access

As we all know, haptics technology provides the ability to touch sense, so it can improve products and services for the visually impaired.

Haptic technology provides support for creating virtual objects and estimating the presence of an object through touch-based sensory input. As in the Stanford team's 2.5D display, it helps visually impaired people to complete visual tasks.

Asking the producers of such devices will not only open up new potential markets and help those in need, but they will ensure that your company remains compliant with accessibility regulations.

Haptics Technology for Industrial Training

Haptic feedback aids allow the training environment to better and more accurately simulate the real work environment and labor conditions. Users can participate in virtual training scenarios using haptics to get a life-like experience in a secure, offline environment.

From training in maintenance, safety procedures, assembly line use, and machinery operation and product testing, there are many uses for haptics that can allow users to train without any risk to themselves or company property.

Haptics Technology for Immersive VR

Immersive VR is still in its infancy, but as haptic technology continues to develop, the opportunities for realistic digital experiences will continue to grow.

Video game studios, corporate training and medical procedures are just a few of the applications to which immersive VR can be applied, adding value to customers and employees alike.

Haptics Technology for Remote Work

With a haptic controller an internet connection and handling a robot-like device would be much easier, remote working with a haptic controller would be easier and less error-prone.

Industries lacking highly skilled experts can connect and be skilled with virtual haptic environments, allowing experts to manipulate robots from anywhere in the world.

Types of Haptic Systems

As discussed above about haptics, haptics are now used as three primary systems: perceptible, tactile, and wearable.

1. Catchable System.
2. Perceptible System.
3. Wearable System.

1. Catchable System

Graspable devices such as joysticks, these types of devices create kinesthetic feedback that informs our nerves, tendons, muscles and joints.

For example, human-controlled robotic operations use graspable haptics systems. Tactile motion, vibration and resistance allow users to operate the robot remotely and in a virtual environment.

The military uses understandable haptic systems for bomb disposal situations, while astronauts use the same techniques in robotics to repair external spacecraft equipment or satellites without ever leaving the ship.

2. Perceptible - Can be Felt

Touchable haptic technology is increasingly being used by consumers, whether they are aware of it or not. For example, haptic technology is used in smartphone screen or screen touch mobile, haptic technology is also used in tab etc. It also has the use of rotate function which is convenient for the users.

Tactile haptic technology is an emerging field famous for haptography and object texture detection. TanvasTouch creates programmable textures that enable people to feel the material of clothing, such as wool and silk, even before purchasing the item.

3. Wearable

Wearable haptic systems are controlled by the nerves of the user's skin, using the system to act on tactile stimuli such as pressure, temperature, or vibration to produce tactile sensations.

Virtual Reality - VR tools are the most commonly used form of wearable haptic technology. VR gloves mimic real-world impressions and receive input from a user to control their virtual world, providing endless consumer engagement options for VR and AR companies.


Haptic Technology or Haptics is a fast emerging technology, our life is fast becoming dependent on Haptics. It is expected that by 2026, haptics will grow very fast. According to the article you have come to know what is Haptics? Definition, Types and Technology. If this article is capable of increasing your knowledge, then share it with others, your like and share gives us encouragement.

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