The somatosensory system involves an enormous variety of sensations, not just vibrations or pressure, but also pain, temperature, and the position and movement of the body in space. This system includes at least 12 specialized types of receptors. Each of these sends different information to the brain, information we rely on to perform even the simplest actions. These receptors are found all over the surface of the body and also inside of it (just think that the average adult has 3 million pain receptors alone!).

In theory, tactile feedback encompasses all of these sensations. However, simulating the somatosensory system in its entirety is a huge challenge, compared to other senses such as sight or hearing.

In practice, tactile feedback always addresses a specific subset of the somatosensory system. A large number of touch devices (from game controllers to mobile phones) communicate exclusively via receptors on the hands, for example.

But what is haptic feedback?

Humans have five senses, but electronic devices communicate with us primarily using only two: sight and hearing.

Tactile feedback is therefore the use of touch in the human-machine interface and entered for the first time in gaming joysticks in the late 90s on which it is still present today.

We can talk about a real mode of communication rather than a specific technology or application.

How does haptic feedback work?

Tactile feedback consists in simulating the touch or interaction with something in real life, creating vibrations of precision. In our daily life, we make extensive use of the haptic mode when we interact with the environment around us. Without the manipulation and haptic detection abilities, this interaction would be extremely limited.

For decades, the sensory experience linked to human-machine interfaces in the railway world included only visual interaction. Today in SPII, in a futuristic and innovative perspective, we want to create the connection channel between the HMI and the end user, ensuring the perception of the command just executed through haptic feedback.

Our haptic panels are designed in accordance with EN 50155 and tested according to the main EN railway standards (EN 61373, EN 50121). We are able to offer a wide range of standard or customized solutions increasing the reliability of the Input devices.

The panel with tactile feedback also allows to increase the level of safety, guaranteeing not only a visual confirmation of the decision made by the end user, but also a tactile one in order to create a new and improved experience.

This type of interface is not born only from the need of the Railway world, but it wants to be able to offer itself to different fields of application including cranes, earthmoving machinery, the marine sector.

Our desire is to innovate and transmit the technological changes that are essential today, taking them to a new level.

“It is change, continuous change, inevitable change, which is the dominant factor in today’s society. No sensible decision can be made more without taking into account not only the world as it is now, but how it will be … This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our entrepreneurs, our ordinary men, must orient themselves towards a science fiction way of thinking.

Isacc Asimov

Do you want to learn more? Click here! http://www.spii.eu/our-solutions/intellicockpit-solutions/haptic-panels/

See you next time,
Valentina Marrese