A magnetically levitated hammer for customizable haptics: Page 2 of 4

January 30, 2019 //By Julien Happich
A magnetically levitated hammer for customizable haptics
Santa Clara-based startup Nanoport announced it is now ready for the commercialization of a novel type of haptic actuators, whose feel and characteristics can be fully customized, both through software and hardware.

eeNews caught up with Nanoport’s CEO Tim Szeto to learn more about the distinctive features of this new haptic actuator, soon evocating German startup Lofelt GmbH providing similarly sized haptics for immersive audio, gaming controllers and VR headset.

Nanoport Technology Inc.’s CEO Tim Szeto.

“The mechanism of our haptic solution is very different from the linear resonant actuator design they use” was quick to highlight Szeto. “As well as the use of impact for high-g effects, there is no spring in our design, the moving mass is suspended by magnetic fields. It floats frictionless and we use coils to accelerate the mass, allowing impacts in one direction only” the CEO explained.

Although the new haptic actuator concept was originally designed in the lab for the mobile phone market, it was then scaled up for use in gaming controllers where the demand for low frequency high fidelity haptics is high.

“The level of readiness and production volumes required for the mobile market are very different from the gaming market and it was a smarter move from a risk perspective”, admitted the CEO.

Moving into the gaming market first is one way of ramping up the technology progressively, making sure the company controls all the aspects of manufacturing and reliability testing before tackling the large volumes necessary before considering any smartphone integration, Szeto explained.

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