Feel the Metaverset with your bare hands – Use of ultrasound waves – The European sting – Critical news and insights into European politics, economics, foreign affairs, business and technology

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This article is brought to you by The European Stings in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Victoria Masterson, Senior Writer, Training Content


  • Emerge, a California-based technology startup, says it brings a physical touch to the metaverse.
  • Virtual handshakes and objects will feel like real touch experiences.
  • Ultrasonic waves help create the feeling of touch.
  • Emerge is one of the 100 technology pioneers of the 2022 World Economic Forums.

In the meta-verse, a virtual handshake will seem real, a technical startup promises. The meta-verse is described as an immersive version of the Internet where we can experience virtual 3D environments instead of viewing digital content on a computer.

Emerge, a company based in California, USA, is developing technology that it claims allows people to physically feel what they see in virtual reality (VR).

The company is a 2022 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer – one of 100 startups from 30 countries driving innovation with cutting-edge technologies.

What does the Emerge system allow you to do?

Emerge describes itself as a “virtual social connection” that brings a physical imprint to the metaverse. When you greet someone in Metaverset with a high-five or a handshake, you will actually be able to feel their hand, according to the company.

When you pick up or hold a virtual object, you will be able to feel and interact with the object.

A tabletop panel called the Emerge Wave-1 Device uses ultrasonic waves to create the touch feel. The panel is about the size of a 13-inch laptop and shoots the ultrasound rays through the air above and around its surface.

When users hold their hands over the panel, ultrasound waves map virtual objects they can see in their VR headsets. Technology called haptic feedback then translates this into a sense of touch.

Haptic feedback uses motion such as vibrations or vibrations to simulate touch. For example, haptic technology is what makes your phone vibrate. Haptic motion can also be created using motors and air pockets.

Emerge has paired its Wave-1 device panel with the Meta Quest 2 VR headset (formerly known as Oculus) and its hand-tracking sensors. Ultrasonic waves can reach up to 3 feet above the panel and move 120 degrees around it.

Are there any boundaries?

Because Emerge Wave-1’s ultrasound waves come from a single direction, the range of tactile sensations it can produce is likely limited, a review on the news site New Atlas suggests.

The range of apps and games that the panel can be used with is also currently limited to Emerge content. Connecting Emerge Wave-1 to the Quest system’s larger library would be an “easier sale,” says New Atlas.

Why is touch important for the future of virtual reality?

Most people are enthusiastic about Metaverse, but 78% say they lack the ability to physically touch and interact with people in the virtual world, according to a report by the National Research Group, which specializes in entertainment and technology research.

Half of the customers said they physically want to feel or touch virtual things that they can in real life.

The ability to use our “bare hands to physically feel, interact and connect with those who matter most to us” is a key pillar of our human experience in virtual worlds, which will increasingly become the center of social interaction, Emerge says.

The company hopes that helping people connect emotionally in a natural way, regardless of distance, could be the “next paradigm shift” in human interaction.

By 2026, about a quarter of us will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse working, studying, shopping and socializing, predicts a recent report from research firm Gartner. It should benefit companies. According to JP Morgan, the meta-verse is expected to create a market with an annual turnover of over $ 1 trillion.

2022 Technology Pioneers will be invited to participate in World Economic Forum workshops and high-level events and discussions during their two years in the community.

They also join the Global Community of Innovators, part of the Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, where members help shape new policies and strategies in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital assets, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles.

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