When a company touts a product as being as revolutionary as the leap from black & white TV to color, it's either incredibly delusional or it has a damn good product on its hands. And judging by the buzz surrounding Artificial Muscle's ViviTouch tactile feedback technology and our own hands-on at CES, we're inclined to believe its braggart rights. Taking the "one-buzz-fits-all" approach and chucking it in the bin of 'ye olde tech of yesteryear,' the electroactive polymer tech creates a "spectrum of feeling" in the 50 - 300Hz range that registers with a user's hand in five milliseconds. We know what you're thinking -- haptic minutiae is fine and all, but what about my battery life? Well, if the company's CEO is to be believed, the vibrating touch interface drains 70 percent less juice than rival implementations -- so it's still hoggy, but not quite as hungry. If you're looking to get a feel of your own for these sensational claims, you'll have to wait for the Mophie Pulse to make its way to fourth generation iPod touch's later this year. Buzzwordy presser after the break.
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ViviTouch™ Offers a New Sensory Dimension to Mobile Gaming

Bayer MaterialScience LLC's technology boosts tactile sensitivity and responsiveness in mobile gaming devices
July 11, 2011 10:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--With the explosive growth of the mobile gaming market, device manufacturers will be looking for ways to differentiate their products. By providing a platform that integrates ViviTouch™, a next-generation technology from Bayer MaterialScience LLC, device makers now have the potential of reaching even more consumers in the gaming market by creating a mobile gaming experience that can rival console gaming.

ViviTouchTM, pioneered by Artificial Muscle Inc., a Bayer MaterialScience LLC company, brings a completely new level to the mobile gaming experience by synchronizing realistic tactile feedback with the sight and sound of gaming applications. This creates a brand new vector for innovation in the design of both mobile devices and the games themselves. Players will soon be able to feel the difference between hundreds of sensations, not just the one-buzz-fits-all vibration from before. A rolling pinball will feel different than a revving motor, a big explosion or even a sharp blade slicing through fruit. The possibilities are endless. The jump from traditional rumble to ViviTouchTM is like the leap from black-and-white to color TV.

"This level of sensitivity and responsiveness hasn't been seen before on a mobile device," said Dirk Schapeler, CEO, Artificial Muscle Inc. "The technology vividly captures the full spectrum of high-fidelity movement, far beyond what has been experienced."

ViviTouch™ is made possible through advances in Electroactive Polymer (EAP) technology. As a result, ViviTouch™ creates the most realistic tactile feelings (50-300 Hz frequency range) that can be felt immediately (within 5 milliseconds). Additionally, the technology's customizable design and performance options consume significantly less battery life than other technologies in the market.

Currently, there are several integrations of the ViviTouch™ actuator that are available. For example, the Device Shaker Design uses ViviTouch™ to precisely move an inertial mass to provide an incredible level of feedback that can be felt in a user's hand. The Moving Touch Screen Design also uses the same actuator to provide a direct tactile response to the user by moving the touch surface, such as a smartphone screen. A technology license to Immersion's TouchSense® can be bundled with ViviTouch™.

The time is right for this next-generation technology. In fact, a survey conducted by Information Solutions Group shows that the mobile phone has now become the primary gaming device of choice. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said playing mobile games had become a part of their daily activity. Among all mobile phone gamers, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of their mobile phone usage time was spent on gaming. Most of all, nearly half of the gamers in ViviTouchTM's national focus groups indicated they would pay more for this new sensory technology.

ViviTouch™ intensifies the mobile gaming experience by immersing players with a revolutionary type of tactile feedback. It brings High Definition feel to a world of High Definition audio and video. This innovative technology is ideal for gaming devices like smartphones, tablets, console controllers, gaming peripherals, and other touch interface products. The first commercial application of ViviTouch will arrive later this year via the mophie® pulse for iPod touch. Visit www.vivitouch.com to learn more.