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Bayer Launches Electroactive Polymer-based ViviTouch™ to Bring Realistic Effects in Mobile Gaming

SpecialChem / Aug 5, 2011

With the explosive growth of the mobile gaming market, device manufacturers will be looking for ways to differentiate their products. By providing a platform that integrates ViviTouch™, a next-generation technology from Bayer MaterialScience LLC, device makers now have the potential of reaching even more consumers in the gaming market by creating a mobile gaming experience that can rival console gaming.

ViviTouch™, pioneered by Artificial Muscle Inc., a Bayer MaterialScience LLC company, brings a completely new level to the mobile gaming experience by synchronizing realistic tactile feedback with the sight and sound of gaming applications. This creates a brand new vector for innovation in the design of both mobile devices and the games themselves. Players will soon be able to feel the difference between hundreds of sensations, not just the one-buzz-fits-all vibration from before. A rolling pinball will feel different than a revving motor, a big explosion or even a sharp blade slicing through fruit. The possibilities are endless. The jump from traditional rumble to ViviTouch™ is like the leap from black-and-white to color TV.

"This level of sensitivity and responsiveness hasn't been seen before on a mobile device," said Dirk Schapeler, CEO, Artificial Muscle Inc. "The technology vividly captures the full spectrum of high-fidelity movement, far beyond what has been experienced."

ViviTouch™ is made possible through advances in Electroactive Polymer (EAP) technology. As a result, ViviTouch™ creates the most realistic tactile feelings (50-300 Hz frequency range) that can be felt immediately (within 5 milliseconds). Additionally, the technology's customizable design and performance options consume significantly less battery life than other technologies in the market.

Currently, there are several integrations of the ViviTouch™ actuator that are available. For example, the Device Shaker Design uses ViviTouch™ to precisely move an inertial mass to provide an incredible level of feedback that can be felt in a user's hand. The Moving Touch Screen Design also uses the same actuator to provide a direct tactile response to the user by moving the touch surface, such as a smartphone screen. A technology license to Immersion's TouchSense® can be bundled with ViviTouch™.

The time is right for this next-generation technology. In fact, a survey conducted by Information Solutions Group shows that the mobile phone has now become the primary gaming device of choice. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said playing mobile games had become a part of their daily activity. Among all mobile phone gamers, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of their mobile phone usage time was spent on gaming. Most of all, nearly half of the gamers in ViviTouch™'s national focus groups indicated they would pay more for this new sensory technology.

ViviTouch™ intensifies the mobile gaming experience by immersing players with a revolutionary type of tactile feedback. It brings High Definition feel to a world of High Definition audio and video. This innovative technology is ideal for gaming devices like smartphones, tablets, console controllers, gaming peripherals, and other touch interface products. The first commercial application of ViviTouch will arrive later this year via the mophie® pulse for iPod touch. Artificial Muscle, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer MaterialScience LLC, is a leading supplier and developer of electroactive polymer products. AMI has rights to over 70 issued patents, including the base patents for this technology.

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,400 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2010 sales of 10.2 billion euros. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

Forward looking statements

This website may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience LLC


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