Immersion Expands Presence in High-Growth Robotic Surgery Market
SOFAR Licenses TouchSense(R) Haptics to Power Feedback in Remote
Console for Innovative Surgical System
SAN JOSE, Calif., Jun 02, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of haptics technology, today announced that SOFAR S.p.A., a leading Italian manufacturer of medical devices for minimally invasive surgery, has obtained a license to Immersion's TouchSense haptics technology for use in its ALF-X (Advanced Laparoscopy through Force Reflection) telesurgical robot system. TouchSense will provide haptic feedback in the cockpit/console from which surgeons control and manipulate the system, engaging the sense of touch to assist in device navigation and laparoscopic procedures. The license represents momentum for Immersion in the growing robotics surgery market.
SOFAR developed ALF-X in conjunction with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The system employs a range of features covering tactile sensing capabilities, versatility, safety and ease of use to improve the quality of laparoscopic surgical procedures. ALF-X is intended for use in hospitals, universities, medical training center and research organizations worldwide.
"While the technological advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgery have improved outcomes and extended the reach of practitioners, they've created a physical distance," said Craig Vachon, Senior Vice President of Immersion. "SOFAR clearly understands the value of touch feedback in live surgery; our TouchSense technology bridges that distance and provides the tactile cues that inform a surgeon, ultimately improving procedure quality and resulting in optimum patient care."
A market that initially reached $1 billion in 2008, surgical robotics equipment is forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2014 (Piribo). Immersion's expertise in intuitive programmable haptics will enable innovators such as SOFAR to integrate critical touch feedback in devices for the quickly growing segment.
"With the evolution and innovations of technology, it is critical that surgeons don't lose their sense of touch," said Dr. Alfonso Labruzzo, chief executive officer of SOFAR. "With Immersion's industry-leading haptics, we are able to provide the critical element of touch feedback to surgeons in our ALF-X system, and provide them with an exceptional surgical solution."
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Haptic (touch) technology is key to the future of user experience in digital devices. Founded in 1993, Immersion (NASDAQ: IMMR) harnesses human touch to create user experiences that deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using one of Immersion's adaptable high fidelity haptic systems, partners can achieve a competitive advantage and greater revenue opportunities with products that are more intuitive, satisfying, efficient, and safe. With Immersion technology, world-class companies can deliver improved user experiences in products such as widely popular video games, leading video console gaming systems, advanced automotive driver controls, medical devices and award-winning mobile phones. With over 900 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries, Immersion is the leading innovator in touch-enabled user experiences that bring the digital universe to life.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of Immersion Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
All statements, other than the statements of historical fact, are statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the statement that TouchSense will provide haptic feedback in the cockpit/console of the ALF-X, and the statement that the size of the surgical robotics equipment is forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2014.
Immersion's actual results might differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with Immersion's business, which include, but are not limited to, the effects of the current macroeconomic climate; delay in or failure to achieve commercial demand for Immersion's products; a delay in or failure to achieve the acceptance of force feedback as a critical user experience; unanticipated difficulties and challenges encountered in product development efforts or in connection with Immersion's license with SOFAR. Many of these risks and uncertainties are beyond the control of Immersion.
For a more detailed discussion of these factors, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially, interested parties should review the risk factors listed in Immersion's most current Form 10-K, which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect Immersion's beliefs and predictions as of the date of this release. Immersion disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements as a result of financial, business, or any other developments occurring after the date of this release.
Immersion, the Immersion logo and TouchSense are trademarks of Immersion Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
(IMMR - T)
SOURCE: Immersion Corporation
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