What is it
Have you ever had the crazy desire to be able to feel something through your phone screen? Well I certainly have, while looking at a breathtaking picture of a tropical island far, far away. It seemed like a dream, a fantasy, something that was never going to be possible.
In 2020 Ryo Tada made this imagination come to live by designing FULU. A fingernail-mounted haptic device which is able to generate the organic subtleties of touch, creating another dimension to the online experience (Dezeen, 2020). A world where you are able to touch things so far away in the digital world — how cool is that?! — Stroke your pets’ fur, touch your loved ones and feel the warm sand on the beach, wherever you are in the world (Tada, 2020).
This upcoming innovation enables you to touch through your screen and feel what’s ‘inside’ the digital world!
Why it’s Cool
Haptic technology is set to revolutionize everything from entertainment to work and education. Until this moment digital communication was highly focused on audio and visuals, neglecting other human sensory experiences. Touch is the most important sense to create connection, it brings to life real feelings and empathy (Tada, 2020).
- Maybe you’ve already considered some of the amazing things you could experience yourself: talking to your friend on the other side of the world, taking a virtual trip to your favorite holiday destination or have you always wanted to experience how swimming in a pool of chocolate pudding would feel like? I’m sure you can image so much more. Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly having burn-outs and depression. FULU could be an escape from the busy, work focused world and into a digital retreat (Studio Tada, 2020). Having a multisensory experience to have fun and let go of all the pressure, feel like an unleashed kid again (wunderman thompson intelligence, 2020).
“Touch is important for creating trust and empathy, such as when babies first create a connection with their mother by a simple touch.”
- In this rapidly changing world companies in all different sectors are enhancing their services with haptic devices. The working environment is an example of an area that is already taking advantage of the benefits. Software company Generic Robotics uses haptic tech to train and coach professionals in digital simulations. Creating a safe place to master skills without the pressure of making mistakes with big consequences. Think of doctors who can now practice on virtual patients through a digital screen (wunderman thompson intelligence, 2020).
Why it has Future Growth Potential
In this era of mega change, we all seek connection, connection by touch and togetherness. However, because of the circumstances we are all challenged to connect on a different level, a digital level. FULU has the power to create that connection, to interact with co-workers, loved ones, places that feel like home and so much more (Tada, 2020).
This innovation is capable of breaking boundaries between the digital and physical world. It provides an opportunity to improve job skills and bring touch to videocalls while stuck in your ‘home office’. The aim of this product is maximizing connection in a distanced world (Studio Tada, 2020).
To be honest all these new innovations that are bridging the gap between the digital and physical world amaze and scare me at the same. It makes me question what dreams and fantasy’s will be realized more in the near future. I want to challenge you to think about what real connection is and what it means to you. What perspective on the interaction between human beings and tech you have yourself. Stay curious and innovative, but where do we draw the line?