Thursday 24 November 2016

Getting “touchy-feely” with LBB Ultrahaptics

logoWe seldom have the opportunity of meeting a company that has a clear lead in a potentially transformational technology, but we are confident that Bristol-based Little British Battler (LBB) Ultrahaptics is one such company.

Basically, one of the company’s co-founders Tom Carter has worked out how to use an array of ultrasonic transducers (like the parking sensors on a car) to create a standing sound wave in mid-air that you can actually feel. Then with some fancy algorithms and more clever technology, you can interact with the wave as if you were switching a switch or a rotating a dial to control a device, only without touching the actual device.

lbbThe imagination can then run riot as to the potential applications. However, more obvious ones include controls in high-end cars (you don’t have to visually locate the switch) or domestic appliances, non-touch switches in infectious environments or for use in gaming or high-tech theme parks. There’s also massive scope in the growing areas of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Ultrahaptics’ evaluation kit is selling like hot cakes, with the vast majority of the world’s car companies working with them. The planned launch of a “Touch” developer kit in January will further expand market reach and help to establish this technology as the global standard. Patents (and physics) will restrict competition. The company is looking at healthy annuity revenues as royalties roll in over the medium term.

Taking this opportunity is not all plain sailing, but experienced and pragmatic CEO Steve Cliffe is leading a capable team to oversee the process of protecting the technology, securing agreements with key suppliers and maintaining the company’s focus and culture. This company could well become a very important, British technology company and we are pleased to welcome them to the Little British Battler programme.

Posted by Peter Roe at '07:13' - Tagged: customerexperience   auto