The sense of touch is a critical element into an immersive user experience. Haptics is, essentially, the science of touch. According to IDTechEx, the haptics market will be worth nearly $5bn by 2025. How can an electronic device enhance the user experience through interacting with the sense of touch? Haptic technologies have been present in gaming and cell phone for a long time. More recent developments are enabling far more sophisticated user experiences.
KEMET Electro-Mechanical Polymer-based actuators are thin, light, flexible, and provide a wide range of haptic feedback that are mild, pleasing and distinguishable from one another thereby providing a wide range of localized feedback.
The paper was presented by Marina Innocenti, KEMET Electronics, Bologna, Italy at the 3rd PCNS 7-10th September 2021, Milano, Italy as paper No.4.2.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
In the past century both analogic and digital electronics have made tremendous advancements realizing devices that could reproduce the objects, people, scenes, and experiences, through video, sound, and even touch. Today, we are witnessing how haptics as having a strong role in stimulating and developing research in bringing current technologies to a wider commercial market in the very near future.
Until now the training topics have been focused on advancements in materials science and engineering, but a growing interest in methods for designing and fabricating these materials into functional devices and systems is what will carry research in the years to come. Among the promising developments, Electro active polymer actuators are emerging due to their intrinsic properties such as flexibility, stretchability, transparency, and self-healing, paired with surprising haptic feedback capabilities. The flexibility and the versatility of EAP actuators, as reported in this paper, can lead to their application in an almost infinite number of applications and technologies.
Solutions to integrate KEMET Film Flex Assembled Actuator in both flexible and rigid shapes, surfaces and volumes have been presented and very interesting results that could lead to new devices development have been achieved. Even if the complete integration of this technology may still present numerous challenges, the active research in application fields such as mechanics, biomedical, VR/AR and computer science areas suggests that the currently large gap between actual technology and final application continue to shrink. This may lead to future haptic technologies that will attain widespread applications, with commensurately large implications for human society and economy.
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 KEMET, Piezoelectric Haptic Modules – Film Flex Assembled Actuators: https://content.kemet.com/datasheets/KEM_P0106_FFAA.pdf