Meta, Ultrahaptics & ZeroLight at CES 2018
CES 2018 saw Meta, Ultrahaptics and ZeroLight debut a new collaboration, allowing attendees to see, hear and feel a highly detailed holographic Pagani Huayra Roadster.
Combining market-leading graphics and mid-air haptic feedback via an advanced augmented reality (AR) headset, this experience gave a snapshot of the future applications of this immersive medium.
An accessible experience to address the wider market
Through AR, a user has the unique opportunity to experience digital content in their natural environment. This amalgamation of real and virtual opens the door to truly novel immersive experiences, and the 90-degree field of view of the Meta 2 development kit headset enhances this further. Because it is a tethered headset, the ZeroLight team were able to harness the power of a PC to render their breath-taking graphics and showcase a 7-million polygon Pagani Huayra Roadster. This unique degree of immersion combined with exceptional graphical quality and market-leading field of view creates a more compelling experience and increases overall engagement.
Ultrahaptics' technology provides haptic feedback via focussed ultrasound, creating sensations directly in the palm of the user's hand. Through the integration of this technology, detailed feedback was harnessed to create new user experiences, such as feeling the power of the Pagani's engine. Mid-air haptics also remove the need to learn how to use a controller, as every interaction with the user interface is conducted through virtual controls which are reinforced with tactile feedback. This results in simple, intuitive controls that allow the user to gesture naturally with their hand.
Complementing stunning graphics with detailed haptic feedback in this way produces an experience which is engaging and immersive on a whole new scale. With an entirely virtual user interface which utilizes natural interactions, this experience is also highly accessible, thus enabling brands to address a much larger share of the market.
With each partner bringing very specific areas of expertise to this project, it was important that the experience fully showcased the collective technical capabilities on offer. Close collaboration was key throughout the development process, with an online collaboration platform supporting seamless international co-working which facilitated intricate work such as syncing the haptics to the audio.
The collaboration was exceptionally well received at the event itself, with thousands of visitors visiting the booth over the four-day conference. Delegates were amazed by the additional level of reality added by the haptic sensations having never experienced anything like this previously.
The demo was also experienced by several high-profile visitors including the Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn. After receiving acclaim throughout the first three days of the show, the experience was awarded the Best Innovation at CES Award by Tom's Guide.