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HAPTIC™ History and Deployment

HAPTIC™ from Alps Alpine – Half
a Century of Feel Creation and
More than 200 Million Units Sold

Decades of feel expertise and sophisticated technology permeate Alps Alpine’s HAPTIC™ products, now used extensively in gaming, virtual reality, automotive and many other sectors.

Nearly Half a Century Generating Feel

*Switches with a click sensation
(TACT Switch™)

HAPTIC™ stems from efforts to refine the feel of human-machine interfaces (HMI) that began almost half a century ago. In 1976, Alps Alpine commenced production of the TACT Switch™, a switch with a click sensation. Now employed in all kinds of products, including smartphones, home appliances, automobiles and industrial equipment, TACT Switch™ products enjoy a global share of around 40% of the market for similar switches. The driving force behind the TACT Switch™ appeal is the feeling curve (or F-S curve), used to visualize sensations in order to realize the kind of push feel the customer is looking for. Helping to identify the desired characteristics, such as the operating force, return force and click ratio, makes it is easier to accurately craft the right feel.

The push feel we create is everywhere. It is estimated that more than 100 TACT Switch™ products are used in one household, for example in major appliances, remote controls and private vehicles. For nearly half a century, Alps Alpine has sought to refine the feel of its mechatronic components and is a fixture at the forefront of feel creation. The broad range of expertise accumulated through those efforts now lives on in all HAPTIC™ products.

20 Years of Force Feedback

In 2001, we introduced our first HAPTIC™ product, the HAPTIC COMMANDER™ automotive control device. In crafting the feel of the HAPTIC COMMANDER™, we teamed up with Immersion Corporation. It was the world’s first use of a tactile sensation device in an automobile. It integrated a growing number of cockpit controls, such as for audio, HVAC and navigation systems, in a single dial, and was a groundbreaking innovation that enhanced safety and comfort because it allowed drivers to control functions intuitively. The HAPTIC COMMANDER™ received a component award in the inaugural Monodzukuri Component Awards hosted by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.

By single-handedly performing the functions of multiple switches and other mechanical components, the HAPTIC COMMANDER™ instigated dramatic advancements in the domain of in-vehicle HMI. The base technology was force feedback, used to electrically and artificially generate various kinds of feel. Alps Alpine has spent 20 years on this technology, unrelenting in efforts to refine and innovate functionality for the continual advancement of the HAPTIC™ line.

Market Diversity Takes Cumulative
Shipments Above 200 Million Units

Alps Alpine’s HAPTIC™ lineup has established a presence in many sectors by meeting customer needs for feel. One of the more notable products is the HAPTIC™ Reactor, which uses an original structure based on spring resonance. Lauded for its broad and realistic vibrational expression and superior usability since its development in 2004, the HAPTIC™ Reactor has been employed in game consoles popular around the globe, as well as devices for virtual and augmented reality, automobiles and healthcare. Cumulative shipments to 2020 have topped 200 million units with people of all ages and backgrounds encountering their feel.

A sound record of deployment and accumulated expertise are enhancing HAPTIC™ dependability further. Valuable insight and information gained from supplying products are constantly redirected back into development and technological innovation as we endeavor to make HAPTIC™ products even better.


Encapsulating nearly half a century of feel expertise and two decades of force feedback technology, HAPTIC™ has been deployed extensively in the market. The HAPTIC™ logo, featuring a wave motif as a depiction of the feeling curve, symbolizes feel creation at Alps Alpine, as well as our dedication to that pursuit.

HAPTIC is a registered trademark of Alps Alpine Co., Ltd.