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Touch technology promises to revolutionise virtual reality

25 October 2017

Incredible touch technology that promises to revolutionise virtual reality from gaming to training 999 crews has been unveiled, called RealSim.

RealSim technology has been created and patented by Morgan Innovation & Technology Limited (MIAT) to provide the most realistic sensation of touch available in the market.

Already proven to help rehabilitate stroke survivors by replicating their sense of touch, it is now ready to be re-purposed to make VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) even more powerful.

Users will be able to “feel” almost any object, surface, substance or environment – sensing whether it is hot or cold, smooth or rough, wet or dry.

“The potential uses are stunning – from training emergency services and hospital doctors to rehab; for military simulation exercises; and transforming gaming and online gambling,” said Nigel Clarke, CEO of MIAT.

Imagine investigating a simulated crime scene for evidence and being able to feel the difference between carpet fibres and hair; imagine being able to simulate administering an epidural into the spine while being able to feel the difference in resistance of an incorrect versus correct positioning. Military training (such as for bomb disposal) is another prime market.

In virtual reality gaming, imagine checking on a fallen comrade in a combat game and being able to feel their temperature, whether they are limp or responsive, bleeding or if they have a pulse. In online gambling, imagine being able to pick up and feel poker chips, playing cards and dice and distinguish the between textures of all three.

RealSim technology is also a game changer in rehabilitation. Originally conceived in collaboration with the University of Southampton Health Sciences faculty to aid stroke rehabilitation by using neuroplasticity to retrain the brain’s neural pathways, it has been successfully tested by a leading stroke rehabilitation clinic.

Funding for invention

To accelerate the development and exploitation of RealSim, MIAT are seeking investors wanting to participate in the exciting VR/AR market and capitalise on its growth potential. It is looking for a total investment of £1,335,000 over the next 18 months. RealSim also represents a great opportunity for vendors of VR/AR software, hardware and accessories to dramatically enhance their products.

The technology has a strong team of experienced innovators, engineers and technicians behind it. MIAT have been developing innovative technology for 30 years and have won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. The family-run business is based in Petersfield, Hampshire. It specialises in new product funding and development.

It uses actuators to apply pressure, vibration and different temperatures to specific receptors on the hand – in particular the finger tips and palm. By programming these actuators to deliver variable frequencies, patterns and intensities, RealSim goes way beyond existing technology (known as “haptic feedback devices”) to mimic the sense of touch of virtually any object, surface, substance or environment – hot or cold, smooth or rough, wet or dry.

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