Behind the Scenes: HaptX

At the start of project four, we had decided to do our story on Marijuana ordinances in the City of San Luis Obispo. As we started exploring this topic further, we realized that the project timeline wouldn’t coincide well with City meetings related to this topic.

We decided to do our story on HaptX,  a local company. Haptics is the science and technology of touch – HaptX is creating devices that almost perfectly mimic the feeling of touch. We had the opportunity to visit the San Luis Obispo office and try out one of their newest technologies, the VR glove.

“It is remarkable to see the technology this company has created and the various ways it can help other people and businesses. Virtual reality is a very difficult concept to envision and create, but the peopole at HaptX seem to be adept at creating it,” said Jacob Forester.

HaptX was originally a small start up created in San Luis Obispo by a college drop out, Jake Rubin, and a Cal Poly professor. Over the years, the company has grown to two locations and multiple patents. They are releasing their VR glove later this year.

We chose to do our project on HaptX  but there were still road blocks that made it difficult for us to get the content we wanted. For one, filming was not permitted in the office which made Kelly and Jacob’s portions of the project difficult to complete.

HaptX has a strict policy on video recording and photography in the office and only pre-approved footage and pictures are allowed to be published. Prior to the interview, we also had to sign a form that prohibited us from sharing or publishing any information we saw in the office. The San Luis Obispo office handles all the engineering and design for HaptX and they want any information to be kept confidential.

We met with two engineers, both Cal Poly graduates, who have been working with the company for a few years. They offerred a unique perspective into

The secrecy of the company was intriguing and frustrating all at the same time. They gave us a simulation of the “VR glove” that they created and it was one of the most unique, impressive technologies I’ve had the opportunity of trying. We weren’t able to record any of the simulation but the HaptX website provides great simulations of the gloves.

Being able to experience the latest in VR technology is something we will always remember. VR is on the brink of a whole new revolution of technology that I don’t think we can yet fathom.

“I know very little about VR, but this concept is mind blowing. It was so interesting to learn about this technology and the implications it could have on our society. Also a little terrifying”, said Kelly Jacobs.

Getting to experience the hurdles in this project was an important lesson that couldn’t have been taught in the classroom. We had to learn how to be flexible in order to get the story done.