ALPSALPINE

# 1

HMI – Feel Expertise Comes to Life

HAPTIC™ – The Essence
of Alps Alpine Expressed
as the Ultimate in Feel Creation

Touch, push, turn, click… everything feels different. Human vision and hearing tell us a lot, but so does our tactile sense – touch. Take, for example, the switches, knobs and controllers on the devices and equipment we use every day. They feel a certain way to touch and to operate, sometimes influencing how we view a particular brand. That is why it is so important to put effort into crafting the feel conveyed by devices used to control human-machine interfaces (HMI), not just the functions they perform.

Alps Alpine Feel
Is All Around Us

Alps Alpine believes a brand image can be crafted and conveyed through the keen sensory systems of our hands and fingers. A pleasant, premium feel, perhaps, or dependability. Or maybe even the air of progress.

Every day, in your personal lives or at work, you too will likely encounter feel crafted by Alps Alpine – in vehicle cabins, home appliances, game consoles, smartphones, PCs, vending machines. Many of the countless items around us that we often touch and operate make use of Alps Alpine’s HMI devices.

HAPTIC™ Brings to Life
Alps Alpine Expertise on Feel

Right from the start, Alps Alpine has been manufacturing HMI products that form the link between people and the equipment they use while expanding the variation in the way they feel. Those efforts have been brought to life by HAPTIC™.

Today, there is growing interest in technologies that engage our tactile sense, and the word “haptics” is employed in a variety of ways. The HAPTIC™ brand represents Alps Alpine’s pride and commitment as an industry leader working to refine force feedback technology based on years of experience crafting the feel of mechanical components.

Recreating Switch Feel
with Force Feedback

Here is just an example of the blending of mechanical design and force feedback technology. At Alps Alpine, we develop technology that uses force feedback to recreate the same feel as a mechanical device. Feel generated by a mechanical device is expressed in numerical terms to be recreated using electromagnetic induction. Extensive knowledge about feel can be combined with actuator technology to freely create a desired feel for operations like pushing, turning and sliding.

Identify the mechanical operating feel

F-S curve characteristics
(mechanical characteristics
resulting from the force-stroke relationship)

Recreate the feel with vibrations on a flat surface

Convert the above identified mechanical characteristics
into a vibration waveform using actuator control

Additional Market Needs
Expand the Playing Field for Feel

Fashion design, graphic design, sound design. Whereas there are many ways to experience design visually and through our hearing, feel design is a domain yet to be properly explored. Intricately linked to the user experience of products and user interfaces, feel expression plays an important role in branding and will gain increasing significance.

And now, new needs for feel are about to emerge. In 2019, the global rollout of 5G services began. This next-generation communication system characterized by high capacity and high data rates, low latency and mass connectivity is expected to bring about a digital transformation (DX) in many areas.

This will likely result in an even larger playing field for feel design. It is thought that fast, high-capacity, low-latency communication will bring advancements in use of remote control for areas like medicine and construction. And to actually implement remote surgery in the future, surely there are needs for conveying even the subtlest details, including feel, to a distant location. Virtual and augmented reality are also capturing interest with 5G deployment. Headsets that dramatically improve sound and video quality and controllers that freely generate feel can be combined to realize even more realistic and immersive experiences. In the world of automobiles, autonomous driving will progress, adding momentum to development of new kinds of control devices that instill greater quality and comfort in mobility spaces.

ALPSALPINE

HAPTIC™ represents the essence of a company
that has sought to create the feel of all kinds of devices.

Alps Alpine will respond to mounting needs for feel design,
seeking to generate the feel customers desire
in diverse markets from cars to consumer devices.

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