June 14, 2021 – Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), a provider of extended reality (XR) training solutions, has today announced that it has opened a haptics lab in central Florida, US, that is specifically focused on the integration of haptics products within various XR simulation and training programs.
Located at the company’s corporate headquarters, the technology team at ECS will perform haptics research and development as well as evaluation, assessment, integration, and product development focused on haptics technology.
ECS stated that as one of its first projects, the team, led by Shane Taber, Vice President of Operations – Orlando, will evaluate and assess specific haptics vendor products for a research and development program that is being funded through 2024 by the Army’s Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), a division of the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Human Research and Engineering (HRED) Directorate.
Specifically, the vendor gloves that are being studied include the VRgluv, the HaptX Gloves DK2, and gloves from BeBop Sensors.
According to the company, the lab space will allow the ECS team to perform additional critical studies and programs such as front-end analysis and test and assessment. The initial focus of the studies will be for medical training, but ECS noted that plans are already underway to include aviation maintenance and marksmanship simulation programs as well.
Waymon Armstrong, CEO and President at ECS, said: “We are excited to establish this in-house technology lab that allows us to further integrate and refine haptics technology in virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended realities. The ability to develop and test within this space ensures we continue to enhance the innovative global training products and services for our warfighters, first responders, and enterprise clients.”
Haptic technology simulates the sensation of touch and feedback for a user. By wearing specialized haptics gloves in tandem with a virtual reality (VR) headset, ECS delivers training programs that offer a realistic sense of touch and natural interactions within an immersive training environment. For example, when applied in a medical environment, the haptics integration within the application would provide combat medics and healthcare professionals the tools that they need to improve their quality of training and retention to potentially save more lives.
Sheena Fowler, Vice President of Innovation for the Orlando Economic Partnership, stated: “Our Orlando Tech Council aligns our region’s tech and innovation ecosystem resources to accelerate progress towards an innovation-based economy. We believe this unique haptics lab, established by our friends at ECS, will enhance Central Florida’s technology and innovation community and help to strengthen our region as one of the leading communities for innovation.”
For more information on ECS and its work in haptic technology for use in XR training simulations, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: ECS
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.