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New MPEG Haptics Standard for Emerging Market

Haptics
(Image credit: Getty Images)

InterDigital, Inc., Interhaptics, a software company specializing in haptics, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have been tapped to contribute their technologies to a new industry standard around haptics. The International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) MPEG group selected the technologies for an emerging standard around haptic data representation and coding. Specifically, Interhaptics’ encoding architecture was selected for quality perceptual performances, TUM’s wavelet coding technology was selected for its support of encoding haptics for high frequency bands, and InterDigital’s integration layer and user body coding were selected for their compatibility with existing and emerging multimedia standards and support for future evolutions of immersive media.

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The selection of these technologies represents a critical step in developing the industry standards that will shape the emerging haptics market. In June 2021, MPEG issued the first Call for Proposal around haptics to identify the reference architecture around which the future haptics standards should be developed, and on which future technologies will be based. The array of submitted encoding proposals were evaluated by a pool of unbiased experts, who later synthesized the most promising characteristics of each proposal to shape the final standard.

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MPEG’s first standard around haptics draws heavily from proposals from InterDigital, TUM, and Interhaptics. TUM contributed a wavelet coding technology for encoding high frequency bands, and Interhaptics’ proposal exhibited superior compression and encoding technologies to enable haptics signals to be stored and delivered. InterDigital’s dual contribution provides the compatibility layer allowing haptic effects to be integrated and represented, within 2D and 3D multimedia frameworks, as well as the coding techniques to support future immersive and interactive applications.

“We are honored to contribute InterDigital’s integration layer technology to serve as the basis for critical industry standards in this exciting field of haptics,” said Philippe Guillotel, Director, InterDigital. “In multimedia, standards are the common language our industry uses to communicate, and encoding standards are the core around which our value chain is modeled. We recognize the true impact and responsibility of this MPEG selection.”

"The haptics market is missing today a vibrant community of creators designing memorable experiences for the end-user. This is the mission of Interhaptics," said Eric Vezzoli, Interhaptics CEO. "The MPEG haptics encoding standards are a stepping stone towards this goal. We are happy to collaborate with InterDigital and TUM to unlock the value of Haptics for the whole ecosystem."

“We are thrilled to contribute to the reference model technology in this very important and new field of haptics” said Andreas Noll of TUM. “Through the integration of technologies from the three proponents, we are able to deliver performance and flexibility for a wide variety of use cases. The developed architecture is well capable of evolving into a solid standard, and the combination of coding methods from InterHaptics and TUM promises to deliver the best of both approaches.”

Looking ahead, InterDigital, TUM, and Interhaptics plan to collaborate within the MPEG framework to update and integrate the newly developed reference model within haptics standardization efforts. The three parties have committed to work together to improve the reference model and finalize specifications around haptics throughout 2022.

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