Sensation Editor tutorial: #1 Using the tool

Using the Sensation Editor tool 

The Sensation Editor makes generating and modifying sensations a simple task and is available to all Ultrahaptics customers.

Beginning with a Sensation Template, such as dialcircle or hand scan, you can modify its properties and export it as an Ultrahaptics Sensation Project (.usp) file.

Your sensation can be played back using the Sensation Player or using the Sensation Editor’s example reference code: a minimal, console application that can be modified to integrate exported sensations into your application. 

Users who currently access the software using a licence number will no longer be able to use that version after 8th March 2019. Please update to version 1.7.2.

If you are an Evaluation Kit (UHEV1) or TouchBase customer, please contact us for the latest version of Sensation Editor.

Sensation Editor Overview 

Sensation Editor tool

The Sensation Editor is composed of 3 panels:  

1. Sensation Templates               Pre-made sensation templates 
2. Preview Area Visualisation of the array, hand and sensations. Amplitude modulation (AM) control points are represented as yellow globes; time point streaming (TPS) control points are represented as blue paths. 
3. Properties Adjust the template properties to tailor your sensations or send feedback to our developers. 

 Preview Area 

Sensation Editor preview area 

1. Array Connection Status
array not connected icon Not connected
array connected icon Connected – hover over to reveal device type and serial number
array emitting icon Array emitting
2. Camera module connection status 
camera not connected icon Camera not connected
camera connected icon Camera connected
camera tracking icon Camera tracking
3. Focal Points These points represent exactly what the array projects into the interaction zone. AM points are shown as yellow globes, TPS points are shown as blue paths. 
4. 3D Interaction Zone view Left-click and drag or right-click in the panel and select from the context menu to change the point-of-view. Use the mouse-wheel or buttons to zoom in and out. The hand model will appear when tracked by the camera module. 
5. Array  Your specific array model will be shown here. 

Properties Panel 

Each template has a selection of modifiable properties to customize and experiment with. Depending on which template you have selected, you will be able to modify some of the following properties. Use the Play/Stop button to start and stop haptic feedback; the “Export” button can be used to export a “.usp” Sensation Package.  

Help our developers improve the Sensation Editor by sending your feedback direct to our developers using the Feedback box 

 Sensation Editor properties

1. AM, TPS switch Select either amplitude modulation (AM) or time point streaming (TPS) mode and experience the differences. Not all sensations support both modes. The TOUCH Development Kit does not support time point streaming (TPS) sensations.
2. Fix to Select either amplitude modulation (AM) or time point streaming (TPS) mode and experience the differences. Not all sensations support both modes. The TOUCH Development Kit does not support time point streaming (TPS) sensations. 
3. Offset Adjust the sensations offset in any of three dimensions. Experiment with offset to improve tracking calibration of track to a more sensitive part of the hand.
4. Rotation Rotate the sensation above the array in degrees.
5. Scale Adjust the size of the sensation. Some sensations give control over scale in the and y dimensions.
6. Strength Change the output intensity of the sensation between 0 and 100%. Note that the strength scale controls the output amplitude of the array in a linear way, while the hand perceives sensation in a non-linear way (in a similar manner to loudness): a strength setting of 50% will much less than half as intense. Experiment here to get a feel for the correct strength settings. 
7. Pulse length Time in seconds focal points are active for. You can also choose to make the focal points stay active constantly.
8. Repetitions Number of times pulsed sensation should “pulse”. You also can make it pulse forever.
9. Repeat gap Time between each repetition (pulse).
10. Total length Total length of time sensation will play for: includes the number of repetitions and gaps between each repetition. 
11. Reset Resets all properties to the template defaults. 

Sensation Templates 

Using the pre-formed sensation templates, you can begin creating and experimenting with sensations straightaway. We have designed 16 templates aimed at covering a selection of some typical use cases. Of course, you can modify these in any way you wish and use them for your specific mid-air touch application. 

Circle The Circle sensation projects four, rotating, AM control points or a single TPS control point that can be fixed to the array or track different parts of hand. Experiment with the circle’s scale, intensity and offsets. 
Click A single, TPS point creates a short, circular pulse that can be repeated any number of times and fixed or tracked to the hand. Use this pulse for buttons or alerts or for simple, virtual object haptics. 
Close Signify the stopping of a process or action with this sensation. For example, pausing music playback or indicate the closing of some application. Four AM control points or a single TPS point spin from the edge of the palm to the centre. 


Close sensation

Dial A single control point (AM or TPS) spins at a fixed size, either fixed to the array or tracking the hand. 


Dial sensation

Forcefield Indicate an invisible, fixed boundary with points fixed as the hand moves through it. 


Forcefield sensation

Hand Scan Similar to the forcefield, four AM (or two TPS) control points “scan” along the hand to the fingertips. Change the speed, gaps and number of repetitions to customise.


Handscan sensation

Line Similar to the forcefield template but with tracking and rotation properties. 
Open Signify the starting of a process or action. For example, starting music on a HiFi, or indicate the beginning or opening of a virtual or actual component. Four AM (or a single TPS) control points start spin out from the centre of the palm. Change the intensity, number of repetitions and repeat gap. 


Open sensation

Presence Indicate that a gesture-controlled device is ready to take commands or signal the user’s hand is in a control area using the simple Presence sensation. 


Presence sensation

Pulse Four, fixed control points are generated for a split second to give the sensation of a pulse. Similar to Presence, this sensation can be used to confirm a user interface item selection. Change the number of repetitions, size and pulse length. 


Pulse sensation

Rectangle A single, TPS control point generates a rectangle, either fixed in mid-air or tracked to the hand. Change the dimensions to customise and use for simple, virtual object haptics. 
Ripple Control points activate randomly on parts of the hand to mimic tickling or rippling of water. Can be fixed to different parts of the hand or fixed to the array. 


Ripple sensation

Rotor Like the line sensation but constantly rotating. Change the scale and speed along with the number of repetitions and gap duration. 
Spark A single, TPS point draws a high-speed pattern in random, short bursts to mimic the feeling of a virtual “spark”. Change the scale or fix to the different parts of the hand. 
Tapping Use this sensation to signify increasing or decreasing control values. E.g. temperature settings on a cooking surface. Four control points are aimed at the centre of the palm and pulsed to create the ‘tap’. Change the tapping rate, size or position. 


Tapping sensation

Warning Similar to the hand scan, a line of control points randomly jumps across the hand. This sensation can be used as a warning haptic for those operating near dangerous or important areas but where access is still required.  


Warning sensation

Tip: Follow our tutorial to learn how to use the Sensation Editor reference code
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