New generation of electromechanical polymer-film haptic actuators

18-04-2016 | Kemet | Design & Manufacture

Kemet has announced a collaboration to develop next-generation electromechanical polymer (EMP) film-based haptic actuators for wearable devices. Novasentis will provide the core technology and haptic actuator film whereas Kemet will develop the manufacturing process for the final assembly. The two companies have been working together for several months and have targeted production prototype delivery in the summer of 2016, with plans for production starting in early 2017. “Our expertise in film-based capacitor manufacturing is a perfect match for the needs of the Novasentis haptic technology. We will be able to use our existing manufacturing lines to develop mass production quantities of actuators,” said Dr. Philip Lessner, senior vice president and CTO, Kemet. “The collaboration with Novasentis allows KEMET to further its reach into emerging markets including wearables.” This collaboration is aimed at providing the most advanced haptic technology in the world with the assurance of supply that KEMET is known for. The EMP film actuators act as a second skin for devices, capable of providing meaningful localized haptic and audio feedback for hundreds of uniquely distinct alerts. The haptic actuators are much thinner, lighter, and a more powerful alternative to other whole-body haptic solutions using outdated buzzy motors or high-voltage benders. The technology is already being designed into wearable devices by OEMs, says the company. “Our partnership with Kemet allows Novasentis to focus on technology development and leverage world class manufacturing to support consumer electronics companies worldwide,” said Francois Jeanneau, president and CEO, Novasentis. “Our haptic technology offers a unique value proposition which has been validated by OEMs designing next generation wearable devices. Together, Kemet and Novasentis are working to create unrivalled market-leading technology and high-volume availability of sensory-rich haptic components to the wearable device market."