Haptics Hack Chat

The power of touch

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Tim Szeto from Nanoport Technology will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, April 7 at noon Pacific.

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Of all our senses, the sense of touch is perhaps the most underappreciated. We understand and accept the tragedy that attends loss of vision or hearing, and the impact on the quality of life resulting from olfactory and gustatory sensations can be severe. But for some reason, we don't give a second thought to our sense of touch, which is indeed strange given that we are literally covered with touch sensors. That's a bit of a shame, since touch can reveal so much about the world around us, and our emotional well-being is so tightly tied to the tactile senses that those deprived of it in infancy can be scarred for life.

Haptics is the technology of tactile feedback, which seeks to leverage the human need for tactile experiences to enrich the experience of dealing with the technological world. Haptic feedback devices are everywhere now, and have gone far beyond the simple off-balance motor used since the days when a pager was a status symbol. To help us sort out what's new in the haptics world, Tim Szeto, founder and CEO of Nanoport Technology, will stop by the Hack Chat. Nanoport is a company on the cutting edge of haptics, so Tim and Nanoport engineer Kyle Skippon will have a wealth of details about what haptics are, where the field is going, and how you can start thinking about making touch a part of your projects.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney04/07/2021 at 20:06 0 comments

    OK, greetings everyone, let's get started. I'm Dan, I'll be moderating today along with Dusan as we welcome Tim Szeto from Nanoport Technology to talk all about haptics. I think we'll be hearing from Kyle, too, who's a mechanical engineer there. Tim and Kyle, are you logged in yet?

    Lutetium12:00 PM
    Hi everyone!

    tim12:00 PM
    Yup! I'm here

    Nicolas Tremblay12:00 PM
    Quick question, anybody has an idea to add a 3rd screen to a laptop?

    Hi Tim, welcome to the chat

    Dusan Petrovic12:00 PM
    Hey all!

    Hi Dule

    Dusan Petrovic12:01 PM
    HI Dan : )

    Kyle joined the room.12:01 PM

    Dusan Petrovic12:01 PM
    welcome all!

    Lazer.Coh3n12:01 PM

    Kyle12:01 PM
    Hello hello!

    Tim, can you get us kicked off with a little about yourself and Nanoport?

    Hi Kyle - same question for you ;-)

    tim12:01 PM
    Sure thing!

    Parisi.dave joined the room.12:01 PM

    tim12:02 PM
    Hi my name is Tim Szeto, I'm the founder of Nanoport Technology ( We specialize in the development of new mobile technologies based on the application of magnetics in the fields of haptics, connectors, and device coordination.

    In the haptics space, I led the development of a new haptic motor called LMRs (Linear Magnetic Rams) that provide wideband HD haptics along with impact.

    Kyle12:02 PM
    Hey guys, I’m Kyle, one of the mechanical engineers at Nanoport. I’ve been working on TacHammer since day 1 of it’s inception and we’ve explored a ton of different prototyping, experimenting, and haptic creation since then.

    Our reach is pretty broad in terms of what we do, so happy to answer any and all questions around haptics, magnetics, or mechanical prototyping.


    Nanoport Technology Inc | Mobile R&D Lab based in Silicon Valley


    tim12:03 PM




    Well that didn't work out like I thought it would...

    Ashley12:03 PM

    Oh, hi Ashley!

    Ashley12:04 PM
    Hey Dan! The links work, it's just...ugly

    The animation of the TacHammer is pretty cool --

    Ashley12:05 PM

    That's the one

    One question I have is the scale of that device? How many bananas are we talking?

    Kyle12:07 PM
    It's about 10-20 TacHammers per banana depending on which size you use. We have an array of sizes from Console gaming to smartphone application.

    tim12:08 PM

    David Sean12:09 PM
    Can an array of TacHammers be synced to give the same effect of a bigger one?

    tim12:10 PM

    Wow, 37 G! Does that imply that whatever this gets mounted in has to be engineered to deal with that amount of force? Thinking like extra mechanical support of PCBs, etc.

    tim12:10 PM
    ^ with sizes

    Kyle12:10 PM
    @David Sean Great question - Yes 100%. you can use syncing to create one "large" effect from multiple smaller devices, or you can even stagger the effect as well for interesting applications.

    jebbnet joined the room.12:11 PM

    Kyle12:11 PM
    @Dan Maloney The peak G-force is relatively localized for the impact haptic, so as long as the TacHammer isn't mounted directly to the PCB, we generally don't see any issues.

    Nicolas Tremblay12:11 PM
    With what looks like a metal plate on the right, does it mean that the force is majorly felt in one direction only, with a little bit felt in the opposite direction because of inertia?

    jebbnet12:11 PM

    jebbnet12:11 PM

    jebbnet12:12 PM
    It is inertia but we feel the momentum

    tim12:12 PM
    The shiny parts on the right are magnets, they provide the suspension system for the moving mass

    Hash12:12 PM
    What type of equipment do you use for prototyping? 3D printers, mills, etc?

    Kyle12:12 PM

    Kyle12:13 PM
    @Nicolas Tremblay the hammer (Bi-directional mechanism) does not strike on the right side. It gets very close, but does not touch. It DOES strike on the left side, which is either plastic, poron, or silicone (as per the customers requirement)

    tim12:13 PM
    Similar to the magnetic array used for...

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