Immersion's VibeTonz System Brings Powerful Touch Sensations to Mobile Phones
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Immersion Corp. (Nasdaq:IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today introduced its innovative VibeTonz(TM) System -- a full-featured composition tool and mobile phone player -- that will enable handset manufacturers and content developers to bring the power and realism of touch sensations to mobile phones.
With over 10 years of proven success in force feedback technology for the PC and console video game market, Immersion has now set its sights on the mobility market. The company is working closely with leading handset manufacturers, operators, and content developers worldwide. Samsung, Immersion's first handset licensee, plans to launch its first VibeTonz-enabled phone for consumers this fall.
"As we embark on the next stage of the digital convergence revolution, VibeTonz technology adds compelling benefits to our mobile phone platform. We will be the first handset manufacturer to introduce a phone with this level of advanced touch sensations, creating the ultimate digital and sensory experience for consumers. The ability to use all of our spatial senses -- sight, hearing, and touch -- makes today's feature-rich phones easier and more enjoyable to use," said an executive of the Mobile Communications Division of Samsung Electronics.
Immersion's VibeTonz System enables the phenomenon of sensory harmony, in which the combined effect of individual senses is greater than the sum of their parts. Adding touch sensations to sight and sound cues allows greater realism and intuition in the way people navigate and use their mobile phone. Haptics(a) technology embedded in mobile phones helps solve the product differentiation problem for handset manufacturers and operators, provides more practical and interactive content options for developers, and redefines the quality of the communication experience for end users.
"Embedded touch sensations offer the world its first opportunity to experience sensory harmony in a mobile phone. The synergy of the three primary senses -- sight, sound and touch -- has an exponential effect on a user's experience, offering an unprecedented degree of realism," said John Grundy, vice president and general manager of Immersion's mobility business. "Using the powerful sense of touch to more fully engage consumers can drive more revenue, create differentiation and brand value, and increase customer loyalty."
The embedded VibeTonz technology adds value to nearly all mobile phone functions, cutting across multiple features for downloadable content such as ringtones, games, and messaging to add depth and dimension to each. The system also enables user interface features such as a distinctive pulse sensation that signals when a call has been dropped. A full range of touch sensations adds nuance and value well beyond the limitations of sight and sound alone, creating new revenue opportunities and stimulating ingenuity in the development of applications for mobile phones.
Immersion has two customized VibeTonz System solutions, one each for handset manufacturers and content developers. For handset makers, the solution includes VibeTonz Mobile, VibeTonz Studio SDK, a hardware design specification relating to the phone's power amplifier circuit, and on-site core software integration assistance. The developer solution includes VibeTonz Studio SDK, access to Immersion's developer Web site, sourcing information for VibeTonz-enabled phones and cables, and application integration services.
1. VibeTonz Mobile Handset-embedded software, VibeTonz Mobile, provides the technology needed to play realistic touch sensations on any mobile phone. It includes three core components in the proprietary software engine: an API, actuator-control algorithms, and a license management function. 2. VibeTonz Studio SDK VibeTonz Studio SDK includes a Windows-based authoring and composition tool, an API for mobile application development, import utility, software bridge to target handsets, a Flash demonstration for developers, and a sample pack of demo touch sensations, or VibeTonz effects. The authoring tool, VibeTonz Studio, offers a graphical user interface that allows easy creation of VibeTonz effects. For example, a ringtone developer can import a music file in MIDI format, add VibeTonz haptic effects, and create a new ringer that plays synchronized sound and touch effects together.
Mobile Phone Applications Examples
Immersion's VibeTonz technology can be used to add the sensation of touch to virtually any application on a mobile phone, solve the user's problem of communications clutter, and enhance the mobile phone experience. By providing context-appropriate VibeTonz effects, users can customize their mobile phone experience in a way that fits their personal taste and lifestyle. Below are three examples of what's possible.
-- Ringers that incorporate a VibeTonz-effect track synchronized to the music are unique, visceral, and easily identifiable. They can be used to communicate who's calling even when audio is turned off for courtesy mode, or when the environment is too noisy for the phone to be heard. -- Alerts with VibeTonz effects minimize frustration, helping users know immediately when a call is dropped or when one is waiting -- without having to look at the phone screen or become distracted by a competing noise on the voice channel. -- Games are more realistic and fun to play when users can feel the sensation of firing a gun or the crack of the bat in a baseball game.
Immersion will be demonstrating its VibeTonz System in booth #331 at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2004, San Francisco, October 25-27. More information on Immersion's VibeTonz System can be found at www.immersion.com/mobility.
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Bringing value to markets where man-machine interaction needs to be made more compelling, safer, or productive, Immersion helps its partners broaden market reach by making the use of touch feedback as critical a user experience as sight and sound. Immersion's technology is deployed across personal computing, entertainment, medical training, automotive, 3D simulation, and mobility markets. Immersion and its wholly owned subsidiaries hold more than 240 issued patents worldwide.
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 any projections of earnings, revenues, or other financial matters; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning the benefits of VibeTonz technology for consumers and mobile phone manufacturers or consumer and market acceptance of force feedback products in general; future development of force feedback products; proposed products or services; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; statements of belief; and any statement or assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. 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, delay in or failure to achieve commercial demand for Immersion's products or a delay in or failure to achieve the acceptance of force feedback as a critical user experience.
For a more detailed discussion of these factors, and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results to vary materially, interested parties should review the risk factors listed in the Company's most current Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q, which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect the Company's beliefs and predictions as of the date of this release. The Company 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 VibeTonz are trademarks of Immersion Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
(a) "Haptics" comes from the Greek word hapesthai, meaning the science of touch.
SOURCE: Immersion Corporation
A&R Partners for Immersion Corp. Yvette Lorenz-Machlan, 650-762-2827 firstname.lastname@example.org
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