While piezoelectric haptic solutions are found in many applications, they are often large and heavy, thus shaking the entire device. KEMET’s new piezoelectric polymer film haptic actuators are thin (150 µm), flexible and conformable devices made from a proprietary, patent-protected paper-thin material, an electro-active polymer ﬁlm, that enables piezoelectric effects to mimic the sense of touch. Unlike eccentric rotating mass (ERM) technology, which is often used in devices for haptic sensations, KEMET haptic actuators do not shake the entire device. KEMET’s lightweight piezoelectric polymer film actuators offer superior performance with a combination of displacement and force, as well as response time, thus offering high-definition haptic feedback.
When embedded directly into a product’s surface, the actuator acts as haptic skin that provides localized bodily sensations and tactile effects unavailable with other haptic solutions currently in the market. The film actuators enable design engineers to implement advanced haptic solutions with high-performance actuators in a broad spectrum of applications that include remote controls, smart buttons, medical devices, AR/VR, and anything in contact with hands, fingers, head, and lips.
As opposed to the traditional technique where a designer attaches the device directly to the PCB using solder or other adhesive, KEMET takes a different approach. “Our actuators are mounted on the surface of the finished product,” says Francois Jeanneau, CEO of Novasentis at KEMET. It is attached to the plastic housing of the device and then covered by software matieral (PTU or textile-based)”. (Figure 1)
These haptic actuators can convey specific material textures and familiar feelings, like the clicks and clacks of buttons, raindrops, and so much more through localized sensations on consumer devices’ surfaces. The wide bandwidth of the devices coupled with some physiology of touch and sensation allows for a richer user experience for many consumer devices, including gaming controllers, virtual reality (VR) haptic gloves, and devices with touch user interfaces. These haptic actuators offer an in-depth interaction with our consumer devices by using the sense of touch to increase immersion and user satisfaction.
KEMET haptic actuators are available upon request via KEMET distributors.