Haptx raises $23M for full-body VR contact platform

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HaptX, the maker of knowledge gloves for digital actuality, has raised $23 million to speed up the event of its next-generation of haptic expertise.

Redmond, Washington-based Haptx brings the feeling of contact to VR, making it extra immersive for individuals to allow them to really feel like they’re transported to a different world, mentioned CEO Jake Rubin in an interview with GamesBeat. The standard of “presence” that contact can carry is broadly believed to be one of many necessities for feeling such as you’re inside a VR-based metaverse.

Haptx beforehand launched its second improvement package about two years in the past, and it fielded its first product in early 2021. Firms are utilizing it for issues like product design.

“In 2016, we began with the imaginative and prescient of full physique immersion,” Rubin mentioned. “We’ve continued that improvement. We would have liked to select a chunk of the market to carry the expertise to. The plain place to start out is with the arms, that are most delicate. That was the genesis for the Haptx gloves.”

AIS International and Crescent Cove Advisors led the spherical, with participation from Verizon Ventures, Mason Avenue Investments, and Taylor Frigon Capital Companions.

This funding brings HaptX’s complete funding to greater than $58 million. Centerview Companions acted as monetary advisor to HaptX.

Haptx gloves allow you to discover VR.

The proceeds from this spherical might be used to fund commercialization of next-generation merchandise constructing on the success of HaptX’s award-winning HaptX Gloves DK2. In contrast to different haptic gloves that are restricted to vibration and drive suggestions, HaptX Gloves bodily displace the consumer’s pores and skin the best way an actual object would. They ship unprecedented realism, with greater than 130 factors of tactile suggestions per hand. Fortune 500 corporations and governments world wide have adopted HaptX Gloves for essentially the most demanding purposes in coaching and simulation, industrial design, and robotics.

At the side of this transaction, HaptX has prolonged its partnership with AIS International, a portfolio firm of New York-based KPS Capital Companions.

“HaptX and AIS International have constructed a deep, profitable relationship devoted to innovation on the reducing fringe of the high-growth international haptics market,” mentioned Joe Baddeley, CEO of AIS International, in an announcement. “AIS International and KPS are thrilled to supply the assets, dedication, and experience essential to help aggressive scaling of HaptX’s industrial footprint.”

Haptx VR glove

Crescent Cove Advisors, based mostly in San Francisco, considerably elevated its funding in HaptX
on this funding spherical after offering a $4 million credit score facility to HaptX in 2021.

“HaptX has succeeded in producing super buyer demand throughout a wide selection of use circumstances,” mentioned Jun Hong Heng, chief funding officer of Crescent Cove Advisors, in an announcement. “We consider HaptX will play a foundational position in fulfilling the promise of the Metaverse as an immersive 3D successor to at present’s 2D web.”

“We’re proud to have the dedication of companions like AIS International and Crescent Cove fueling
our efforts to construct haptics so lifelike that customers can’t distinguish between the digital and the
actual,” mentioned Jake Rubin, Founder and Chief Govt Officer of HaptX. “This funding will allow
HaptX to construct on the success of HaptX Gloves DK2 with thrilling new merchandise that can redefine
digital and robotic interactions.”

As for the timing of the next-generation merchandise from Haptx, Rubin mentioned, “We’re not speaking a couple of particular information but, however clearly it will likely be fairly quickly. And it’s going to be an enormous leap ahead for our merchandise and our expertise.”

Dean Takahashi tries out the Haptx gloves with the HTC Vive VR headset.
Dean Takahashi demos the first-generation Haptx gloves in 2018.

The sooner system has been within the arms of numerous prospects and potential prospects, and the corporate has gathered lots of suggestions, Rubin mentioned.

“All of these learnings have have gone on within the suggestions and its prospects have gone into these subsequent technology merchandise,” Rubin mentioned. “We’ll be presenting an enormous leap ahead by way of capabilities and scale sooner or later.”

The ambition is to finally get to a full-body go well with that may seize haptic suggestions, just like the physique fits within the sci-fi movie Prepared Participant One. Rubin mentioned the corporate has been engaged on parallel analysis paths, one to enhance the glove product and the opposite to increase suggestions to different elements of the physique.

The corporate has about 50 individuals now and it plans to double that within the subsequent yr.

“We now have made an unbelievable quantity of R&D progress,” Rubin mentioned. “I’m simply unbelievable excited to share every little thing that we’ve been doing. We are going to begin to contact extra consumer-oriented purposes.”

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