Able Planet @ CES 2013
It’s been a couple of years since we spent time with Able Planet and they have certainly grown from their humble first CES back in 2007. They’ve won a few awards, and by a few - I mean they have an entire trophy wall. This year their big CES-announcement was a partnership with Bayer - and their division call Vivi Touch. Vivi Touch uses electro-magnetic polymers to make actuators and in this case - to precisely control the vibration of a plastic membrane.
This membrane will be used in some upcoming headphones designed exclusively for gamers, music and movie lovers. The idea is that Vivi Touch will enable precise vibration control which will accurately reproduce and enhance a “bass experience” in the headphones. There have been a few companies that have made vibration or “force feedback” headphones. The inherant problem with these is that they use a couple of motors in them - much like an Xbox controller to simply shake your ears. There is no precision, and very little difference. The Vivi Touch-enabled prototype shows more precision and a wide range of intensity and frequency of the vibration.
Able Planet hopes to launch these at E3 and we’ll be sure to have some coverage of the launch of these and hopefully a review to find out how music and movies will play on these. The demo we received at the show was mostly for gaming - and it was pretty cool.