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Redux unveils 4G-haptics platform for smartphones

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? 4G-haptics platform? pressure sensing?

Redux Labs, a haptic and flat-screen audio start-up, has rolled out what it touts as the industry's first 4G-haptics platform geared for a smartphone's small form factor. The Bullfinch-SP001 optimises both haptic hardware and software for a smartphone form factor and deliver a realistic multi-touch feedback response to the point of contact/s, rather than the whole device or screen, noted the firm.

4G haptic responses can be customised according to where a user touches the screen, what application they're in and how hard they press. The Bullfinch-SP001 is able to accurately reproduce, on a flat screen, a range of customisable haptic responses that mimic real world key press sensations, be it a home key, a volume slider, a 2-level (focus/shoot) camera button or even a phone's qwerty keyboard. The inclusion of pressure sensing technology also enables the user to feel the key before they press down.

Bullfinch-SP001 is engineered to run on Gorilla Glass and can also run on the phone's steel or aluminium back panels. It has been optimised across a range of screen sizes from the iPhone 5's 4in wide-aspect ratio screen to a 6in phablet.

To demonstrate it in action, the company has also announced Bullfinch-SP001-D, an OEM demonstration platform that integrates a standard smartphone 4.7in, 16:9 aspect-ratio touch panel.

The demonstrator module contains 5 effectsstandard button, slider, spin wheel, pre-press (embossed feedback effect) haptics and 2-press camera button.

Bullfinch-SP001-D uses two Redux small-form-factor transducers, positioned at either end of the touchscreen, to deliver this feedback. These are controlled via an ARM Cortex M3 microprocessor, running patented algorithms. The platform assimilates touch coordinate data from the touch panel and a touch-sensitive layer and uses the company's patented bending wave physics to instantly relay the feedback back to the point/s of contact.

Like all Redux's systems, Bullfinch is technology agnostic for both touch and pressure-sensing components, making it compatible with the majority of dual and single function technologies. The Bullfinch-SP001-D demonstration platform integrates an electroactive-polymer ink from Perotec to manage both capacitive touch and pressure detection.

Unlike competing haptic techniques, such as electrostatics, using bending wave physics to drive sub sonic frequencies consumes very little power and does not noticeably affect battery life.

Redux's bending wave physics can also be used, simultaneously, to drive high-quality audio from the screen allowing phone manufacturers to integrate the additional 4G haptics functionality and replacing the phone's existing speaker with a better quality, front facing one, without increasing the BOM.





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