US giant bets on made-in-Bristol ‘virtual-touch’ technology for next generation of 4D casino games

Ultrahaptics, the Bristol firm behind cutting-edge technology that allows people to ‘feel’ virtual objects, has helped global gaming giant IGT produce a range of four-dimensional slot machine games.

Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptics technology will mean players will literally be able to reach out and touch graphics that appear in free space, without the need for special gloves. 

It is the first commercially available product to be launched to the end market with Ultrahaptics’ pioneering technology. The games are now on the floor of casinos worldwide. 

Under an agreement with Las Vegas-based IGT, formerly known as International Game Technology, Ultrahaptics is supplying its mid-air haptic feedback technology for its TRUE 4D games, pictured.

Ultrahaptics was founded in 2013 and last May raised £17.9m in Series B funding. In September it opened its first US office in Silicon Valley.  

IGT has combined Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptics technology with glasses-free TRUE 3D and gesture recognition technologies to create multi-sensory gaming experiences. Ultrahaptics’ technology enables players to experience tactile feedback when they interact with the games’ glasses-free 3D graphics.

Ultrahaptics CEO Steve Cliffe said: “This is a major milestone for the business, and it represents a crucial step in Ultrahaptics’ roadmap: seeing our technology being used by people in their daily lives. We’re excited to be able to support IGT bringing products to market, and I’m thrilled that they have received such critical acclaim for their product.”

IGT is the world’s leading gaming company and achieved a gaming industry first when it introduced and deployed a slot product that includes this haptic technology, licensing Ultrahaptics’ software.

The company unveiled the CrystalCurve TRUE 4D cabinet and the SPHINX 4D game at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.

At G2E 2017, IGT unveiled additional TRUE 4D game titles. IGT’s first TRUE 4D game, SPHINX 4D, has now garnered several major gaming industry awards and went live on casino floors last November.

IGT chief product officer, gaming, Dallas Orchard, said: “Ultrahaptics’ mid-air haptic technology has enabled IGT to create a player experience unlike anything previously offered in the casino industry. IGT’s SPHINX 4D game combines unprecedented technology, with exciting gameplay and cutting-edge hardware to create a phenomenal casino product. The market acceptance and industry awards that the SPHINX 4D game has amassed affirms the value that our customers place on meaningful innovation.”

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