Ultraleap – Beyond the touch screen

Haptic Feedback - Extended reality

Extended Reality – XR

There is an evolution in user experience afoot known as XR (Extended Reality). Not only will transform the way we visualise our environment, but even more so, how we interact with it. In this age of pandemic, less touching, and more feeling (in ‘thin air’) is very appealing indeed.

Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term encapsulating Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and everything in between. Although AR and VR offer a wide range of revolutionary experiences, the same underlying technologies are powering XR.

The next wave of technology is one you can feel

Tests run by the company proved that the haptic feedback systems, allowing you to feel and gesture to perform tasks was preferred over a touch screen by 60% of people.

Haptic Feedback
image via ultraleap.com

With significant investment (roughly $111 million AUD) in the company which will help Ultraleap revolutionise how we connect, create, and explore our world.

No controllers. No wearables. No touchscreens. Just natural interaction.

Our hand tracking and haptics are powering the next wave of human potential. It’s time to move beyond.


If you walk into a room full of people in 2050, you can assume that everyone has some form of augmented vision. Their surroundings will fade out at their command and they will be able to enter a virtual world at their leisure.

Akin to assuming everyone in a room in 2021 has a smartphone when you walk in.

There will be a blurring of the lines between digital and physical. There will be no 2D pop-ups or notifications on a plane in front of your face. Instead, full 3D objects, creatures, and even people will exist and move seamlessly through physical space.

image via ultraleap.com

How does this extended reality haptic feedback system work?

Essentially the system is about turning ultrasound, beyond our hearing into virtual touch. Small speakers emit ultrasound waves. by setting up many of these tiny speakers in an array, each can be individually controlled.

Every speaker is triggered at a different time.
The ultrasound speakers are triggered using algorithms at very specific times. As a result of these time differences, ultrasound waves arrive at the same time at the same point in space.

Where the ultrasound waves coincide is known as the focal point.
The location of the focal point in 3D space can be programmable in real time. The focal point can change location from moment to moment.

From the focal point to the pressure point, virtual touch comes to life.
There is enough force behind the ultrasound waves to create a tiny dent in your skin. This pressure point is used to create a vibration that touch sensors in your hands can detect.

How much does it cost?

Haptic feedback systems such as these produced by Ultraleap are available for purchase from about $2500 USD for the high end development kit. Furthermore, the full plug and play interface model named the Stratos Inspire is designed for quick development and public use. It’s price tag sits at about $3800 USD. You can find where to buy these from a series of retailers via the Ultraleap website.

Extended Reality and Haptic feedback in our future.

It is clear that how we interact with technology in the future will indeed surpass the touch screen. This has many implications as to how we interact in our increasingly technological reality. Furthermore, the applications of this technology are far reaching that can surly benefit humanity for the better.

Future Earth will be keeping a finger on this pulse as it evolves.