Dr Geoff V. Merrett
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I Provide 'Expert Advice' on Haptic Technology

8th October 2013

Article on
Article on 'The Engineer'
This morning I was contacted by a journalist from 'The Engineer' magazine, who was writing a piece about research at Bristol University on the use of ultrasound as a tactile technology. The technology, which I saw demonstrated at a conference a few years ago, uses inaudible ultrasound waves to give the sensation of touch to the fingertips, and by using an array of transducers, can target the sensation at particular locations. My comments on the technology included:

"'Touchless haptics is probably the Holy Grail,' said Dr Geoff Merrett of Southampton University, who was not involved in the research but has experience developing haptic technology. 'If you look towards games consoles, everything is going away from holding things.'"

"Southampton University's Geoff Merrett has developed haptic technology for medical rehabilitation devices for stroke patients and said the UltraHaptics system could have applications in this area. 'The more realistic you can make a sense the better. The fact that you don't need to wear things would be a massive benefit for a stroke patient because often putting something on the hand is the biggest problem. Their hand tends to seize up and so to get the kind of devices we were looking at onto the fingers was quite difficult. That could be a problem in this situation because you can't stimulate the fingertip with the ultrasound system unless it can see the fingertip. But I think as we move towards less contact devices the better [it will be].'"

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