Immersion's VibeTonz Studio SDK Supplies Proven Tools for Creating Powerful Touch Content for Mobile Phones
Samsung and AG Interactive Developing Touch Content for New Mobile Phones Coming This Fall
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Immersion Corp. (Nasdaq:IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today released a software development kit for adding orchestrated touch sensations to mobile phone applications and content. The VibeTonz Studio SDK, part of the overall VibeTonz System announced earlier today, enables developers to add touch sensations to a wide range of mobile content and applications such as ringtones, games, messaging, and user interfaces. VibeTonz Studio SDK is available now for creating new, compelling, and differentiated downloadable content or upgraded options for existing content.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., global leader in mobile communications, and AG Interactive's MIDIRing Tones, the media subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation (NYSE:AM), are among the first licensees of VibeTonz Studio SDK. Both companies are working on innovative touch-enabled applications, including downloadable games and ringtones for new VibeTonz-enabled mobile phones.
"With VibeTonz effects on a mobile phone, you can feel the music in a ringtone, even when the audio is turned off," says Bryan Biniak, senior vice president and general manager of AGI. "This creates a much richer, more enjoyable, and more personal experience for the mobile user. We immediately recognized the benefit of Immersion's VibeTonz technology. Beyond vibratory ringtones, we see it adding value to all electronic content including games, electronic greeting cards, images, and messaging."
VibeTonz Studio SDK includes several components. They are: VibeTonz Studio, a Windows-based composition tool and import utility; VibeTonz API for mobile application development; VibeTonz Device Connect Files, software bridges to target handset families; a VibeTonz Effects Sample Pack of example touch sensations; and the VibeTonz Demo Showcase, a Flash demonstration. This demonstration includes two real-life scenarios showing how VibeTonz effects enhance the user experience, an explanation of the variety of effect characteristics, and touch-enabled sample ringers, games, alerts, navigational cues, and emoticons.
"We found Immersion's VibeTonz Studio, with its graphical user interface, to be intuitive and easy to use. The graphical features and music import utility allows VibeTonz effect designers to focus on the creative process rather than tool mechanics. Much like composing music, VibeTonz Studio allows designers to quickly explore possible touch sensations and optimize them for a ringtone, game, or user interface feature, such as a key press or scroll list. Compelling, differentiated content and user interface enhancements that could not be created before are now made possible by this easy-to-use tool," said an executive of the Mobile Communications Division of Samsung Electronics.
How It Works
"The VibeTonz System can give depth and dimension to content and features, dramatically enhancing the quality of the user communications experience," said John Grundy, vice president and general manager of Immersion's mobility business. "Content designers can use VibeTonz Studio to create complex VibeTonz effects, essentially creating a symphony of touch sensations rather than just a simple beat. Mobile application developers use VibeTonz API to incorporate these effects into their applications so they can be played and managed on the mobile device."
Because content feels more intuitive if touch sensations complement the audio cues, VibeTonz Studio allows import of select audio file formats, allowing designers to rapidly create and synchronize VibeTonz effects to an audio soundtrack. In addition, effect designers can easily create, then adjust effect parameters, and play their creations in real time. Simple building blocks called basis effects can be created and played one at a time or used to build a complex timeline effect.
Periodic, magnitude, speed, duration, style, and composition controls are used to produce a wide variety of sensations, from subtle to startling:
-- Periodic: A series of individual pulses or waves with a specified frequency, the periodic effect starts and stops the actuator vibration quickly and efficiently. It produces vibrations like the whir of a cooling fan, the shaking of wheels on uneven pavement, or the deep rumble of a distant volcano. -- Magnitude: The magnitude of an effect corresponds to its strength, or the amplitude of the vibration, which can also be ramped up and down at specified rates. The magnitude of effects can range from the very soft and subtle purr of a kitten to an intense explosion that tapers off over time. -- Speed: Speed specifies the frequency of the vibration, causing the phone to vibrate faster or slower. A slow speed might produce the effect of foot steps, a fast speed, the gallop of a race horse. -- Duration: The duration parameter specifies how long the effect lasts from start to finish. Several vibrations of medium duration might be used to indicate the phone line is ringing; several vibrations of longer duration that the line is busy. -- Style: The style parameter -- including strong, smooth, and sharp values -- controls the quality of the effect by driving the actuator using different algorithms. For example, the blast of a rocket-launcher may feel best with a strong style. The smooth style is suitable for gentle effects such as raindrops. The sharp style can be used to best advantage for abrupt effects like machine gun fire, where it's most realistic if you can feel each pulse of the gun. -- Composition (timeline): Composition options allow the full complement of individual VibeTonz effects to be combined into a haptic score, much like a musical composition. VibeTonz effects can also be combined sequentially at various rhythms, superimposed with one another for accents, and synchronized with audio or video events.
Immersion's VibeTonz API is the application-level interface to VibeTonz Mobile player, which is embedded in the mobile handset. The API facilitates playback and modification of VibeTonz effects on the mobile device. It also saves and deletes VibeTonz effects such as ringers. VibeTonz API is written in C and has ports to a growing number of the most popular mobile platforms.
Immersion's VibeTonz Studio runs on Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP. It requires a Pentium III 800 MHz processor or better, 512 MB of memory, 11 MB of disk space, and one USB 1.1 port or higher.
Pricing and Availability
Immersion's VibeTonz Developer Web site, developer.immersion.com, includes technical information, resources, and a free, fully functional, 30-day trial version of VibeTonz Studio SDK with an online purchase option. For content developers who want a full-service, fast solution, Immersion's team of software engineers offers complete application integration for an additional fee. Content developers can see a live demonstration of the design software at booth #331, CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2004, San Francisco, October 25-27.
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Bringing value to markets where man-machine interaction needs to be made more compelling, safer, or productive, Immersion helps its partners broaden market reach by making the use of touch feedback as critical a user experience as sight and sound. Immersion's technology is deployed across personal computing, entertainment, medical training, automotive, 3D simulation, and mobility markets. Immersion and its wholly owned subsidiaries hold more than 240 issued patents worldwide.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of Immersion Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
All statements, other than the statements of historical fact, are statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements, including any projections of earnings, revenues, or other financial matters; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning the benefits of VibeTonz technology for consumers and mobile phone manufacturers or consumer and market acceptance of force feedback products in general; future development of force feedback products; proposed products or services; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; statements of belief; and any statement or assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Immersion's actual results might differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with Immersion's business, which include, but are not limited to, delay in or failure to achieve commercial demand for Immersion's products, or a delay in or failure to achieve the acceptance of force feedback as a critical user experience.
For a more detailed discussion of these factors, and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results to vary materially, interested parties should review the risk factors listed in the Company's most current Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q, which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect the Company's beliefs and predictions as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements as a result of financial, business, or any other developments occurring after the date of this release.
Immersion, the Immersion logo, and VibeTonz are trademarks of Immersion Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Immersion Corporation
A&R Partners for Immersion Corp. Yvette Lorenz-Machlan, 650-762-2827 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2004 Business Wire. All rights reserved.
News Provided by COMTEX