Vibration might not seem like a rich interaction, but if you do it right then it can make a closer connection between a user and their phone. MOTIV is a system for creating custom haptic feedback.
Inside most mobile phones there is a vibration motor and for most of its life all it will do is create a feedback buzz when the user hits a virtual key. Now the company immersion has come up with a way of extending the range of things that you can do with an Android vibration motor to provide an extended range of feedback modes.
The MOTIV development platform has a component that OEMs can use to extend the Android OS to include haptics, i.e. vibration feedback. This injects haptics into the system UI without there being need for extensive change to the OS. A theme manager allows the user to customise the experience.Themes with names like typewriter, rubber ball, butterflies and so on give you some idea of the range of vibration feedback the system supports.
The Reverb module adds haptics into apps that haven't been designed to take advantage of it. This works by translating audio into lower frequency vibrations. The range of apps that could benefit from this is limited, but the example given of adding a bass to a music track isn't crazy.
If you would like to see it in action take a look at the video promo below.
There is also an SDK that can be used to create custom effects on a phone that supports MOTIV. It comes with pre-designed effects and an effect design studio. You could for example attach different vibration patterns to different weapons in a game or bounce effects as objects collide.
The idea of achieving different feedback effects by modulating the vibration motor is clearly a fairly crude form of feedback, but it could be that custom vibrate "ringtones" are the next big thing.
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