Oculus’ Rift will let you wander through amazing
, immersive, virtual 3D worlds. Google’s Project Tango will help you turn it into a virtual 3D version of your real world. Their limit? Neither of them will ever give you any indication as to the material qualities of the digital objects you interact with. This is where Ultrahaptics comes in, with its Tactile Sensation Haptic Kit.

By the way, in case you were wondering, but never looked it up, “haptic” means any form of communication involving touch. In the case of Ultrahaptics, though, you will not be touching anything… real. What you will be touching are virtual objects that
will give you a tactile feedback without needing to wear anything or in fact
touch any surface.


The technology developed by Ultrahaptics uses ultrasound to project sensations through the air and directly onto the user. Users can ‘feel’ touch-less buttons, get feedback for mid-air gestures, or interact with virtual objects. The company was founded in 2013 based on technology originally developed at the University of Bristol, UK. It secured Seed Funding in 2014 to allow for the further development of the technology and the expansion of the engineering team. Ultrahaptics is already engaged with tier 1 customers, from multiple markets, with their not long ago
launched Evaluation Program.

UHPRI006 - Touchless button

At CES, Ultrahaptics hosted customers, partners, press and analysts in a private Demo Showcase Suite, where they invited guests to learn additional of
how to add mid-air haptics to their consumer products. As far as 3D printing goes, the implications are clearest for the use of Ultrahaptics as a device for improved and additional intuitive 3D modeling of virtual prototypes, preceding sending them to the printer for final manufacturing. Yet another addition to the range of products that
, along with HP Sprout, Oculus Rift and Google Project Tango, are helping to manufacture the boundaries between virtual and physical 3D thinner than ever.

Davide Sher

About The Author

Davide was born in Milan, Italy and moved to New York at age 14, that is where he received his education, all the way to a BA. He moved back to Italy at 26 and began working as an editor for a trade magazine in the videogame industry. As the market shifted toward new business models Davide started working for YouTech, the initially iPad native technology magazine in Italy, where he discovered the world of additive manufacturing and became incredibly
fascinated by its amazing potential. Davide has since started to work as a freelance journalist and collaborate with most
of Italy’s main generalist publications such as Corriere della Sera, Panorama, Focus Italy and Wired Italy: most
of his articles have revolved around the various applications of 3D printing.