Haptic Technologies Are Adding A New Touch To Mobile Advertising

Media consumption on mobile devices has begun to take the forefront of all advertising spending, which means that brands are seeking bigger and better ways to stand out on smaller screens. Traditional formats of advertising are evolving to maximize the limited screen size of mobile devices and haptic technologies are presenting some new opportunities in the field.

Haptic technologies are nothing new in the consumer electronics industry and are widely familiar to users as a method of interaction that utilizes a sense of touch to communicate. However, they are receiving some new attention as advertisers begin to explore their potential in various forms.

In a 2016 report released by Technavio, it is estimated that the haptics technology market will increase by 21.1% by 2019. This implies a lot of space for development in the coming years, which is already being quantified by some research. A report released by IPG Mediabrands and Immersion Corporation has summarized the effect of haptic technology on the media consumer’s perception of advertising.

During CES 2017, multiple startups were featuring haptic technology that demonstrated how friction could be used to create texture on touch screens. Tanvas presented TanvasTouch which featured the ability to create programmable surfaces that modulated electrical fields to create texture in response to the touch of a user. Hap2U also displayed a touch screen that could replicate textures using ultrasonic vibrations.

New advances in haptic technologies such as TanvasTouch and Hap2U are demonstrating that their are new ways to augment the user experience when it comes to media consumption.

“The ability to simulate texture and fabric on smartphones and tablets is a breakthrough for online shopping, connecting the physical and digital worlds,” says Dominique Essig from Bonobos. This kind of technology “has the potential to bring an intimate retail experience to every touchscreen device,” she comments.

This has advertisers and media publishers excited over the opportunity to engage audiences in a new way as it presents a new form of interaction that could really make an impact on the way advertising is done on mobile devices.

“Ads You Can Feel”, the study carried out by IPG Mediabrands and Immersion Corporation, found that haptic technologies can make a significant impact on consumer response to advertisements. They dived into TouchSense, a haptic technology that simply uses the vibration functions commonly found on Android mobile devices. Vibrations can act differently depending on what a programmer desires and be applied to create different effects such as rumbles or pops.

Their study found that ads augmented with haptic technologies significantly outperformed traditional advertising formats. Potential customers that viewed advertisements featuring haptic technologies showed a rate of 25% interest to purchase, which raised above traditional ads at only 15%.

As media spending and advertising becomes increasingly focused on mobile devices, haptic technology may be the only way that brands can stand out in a crowded environment. Those that get ahead of the curve on purchasing media with haptic integration may be the ones with a significant competitive advantage.