Meta Licenses New Haptic Technology

Following a major licensing agreement via Immersion, is Meta set to bring new life to haptics technology

Meta Licenses New Haptic Technology
Mixed RealityInsights

Published: February 15, 2024


Rory Greener

Is haptic technology on the comeback? It could be with this significant licensing agreement. Recently, Meta signed a deal with haptic technology innovator Immersion Corporation to leverage the former’s patents to enhance Meta’s XR hardware, software, and products.

Immersion Corporation creates haptic patents which provide touch-based feedback technology for XR peripherals and applications. Moreover, the patented technology increases realism and immersion during an AR/VR/MR experience, such as training where haptics can simulate real-world assets or machinery, producing improved experiences and outcomes.

Eric Singer, the President and CEO of the Immersion Corporation, added:

We are delighted to grant Meta Platforms, Inc. a license to our patents for haptic technologies. We are excited to license Meta Platforms, Inc. for their delivery of high-quality haptics in their devices.

Despite the potential of the haptic hardware market and the growing investments into XR technology, the development of haptic hardware is currently – somewhat – inactive. Despite the innovative work of companies like HaptX and Senseglove in this field, the industry’s focus seems to be elsewhere – perhaps AI and spatial computing.

Although enterprise end-users such as Honda, Scania, and Volkswagen are experimenting with haptic gloves in the workplace, big firms like Meta are seemingly pausing their research into this area and investing in other emerging tech markets.

However, Meta may not have abandoned the haptic glove market entirely yet. The XR leaders have been constantly investing in their Reality Labs division, and more developments may be happening behind the scenes. They acquired haptic device start-up Lofelt in 2022 while working on new Quest products.

This month, Meta reported that its Reality Labs division made a quarterly profit for the first time, perhaps allowing Meta to invest in emerging XR technologies, such as the haptic technology from the Immersion Corporation.

Are Haptic Gloves Making a Comeback?

Haptic hardware might rise, and it’s a potential wild card in XR. Late last year, XR Today reported on a breakthrough prototype haptic technology that captured the imagination of readers.

In October of last year, Fluid Reality launched a haptic glove solution that offers a range of competitive features to the emerging XR accessories market.

The company’s new haptic glove product differs significantly from its competitors, offering untethered usability. This means the product does not need to be physically wired to an additional computing device, considerably increasing haptic gloves’ portability and usability. It opens up new opportunities for enterprise clients and makes it easier for IT teams to distribute company-wide XR devices.

While haptic glove solutions have many advantages, they also present several challenges, particularly in the enterprise. XR devices are already cumbersome; many would rather not have bulky headsets. Introducing a haptic device and more weight to XR devices could make it challenging to scale enterprise XR adoption.

However, due to its size and weight, Fluid Reality’s lightweight design makes it easier to introduce haptics-ready XR to workers and decision-makers. As the size and weight of XR wearables continue to decrease, innovations in haptic glove design may offer new opportunities to a wide range of end-users.

2024 is expected to be a significant year for XR, with many technological advancements on the horizon. But the question remains: will haptics play a role in the future of XR?

HapticsMixed Reality HeadsetsVR Headsets

Brands mentioned in this article.


Share This Post