Murata Manufacturing Co. has agreed to acquire MIRAISENS, Inc., a Japanese supplier of 3D-based haptic solutions. Terms and conditions of the agreement have not been disclosed.
The deal gives Murata, a components supplier, greater access to the growing tactile sensing and feedback market. Demand for tactile experiences has been rising in various markets in recent years. Such markets include the entertainment sector, in which realistic gaming experiences are expected due to the spread of virtual reality and the coming expansion of 5G, and the medical sector, which requires tactile feedback for patients during remote treatment.
MIRAISENS is developing 3DHaptics technology based on “Illusionary Haptics,” a haptic technology established on a neuroscientific basis by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The technology differs from conventional technology based on physical engineering and lets humans perceive various textures and tactile sensations by generating illusions in the brain through specific stimulation patterns on the skin. According to the companies, the technology can make it seem as if one were actually feeling the softness or texture of objects expressed as digital content in VR games
Through this acquisition, Murata Manufacturing aims to offer original products and services by combining the device design technology it has cultivated in its sensor and actuator business with the haptic solutions technology owned by MIRAISENS.
Tsuneo Murata, Murata Manufacturing’s chairman and president, said in a statement, “I expect that in accordance with the expansion of communications technology such as 5G, there will be a growing number of situations that demand experiences comparable to real human sensory perception. MIRAISENS’s haptic solutions technology, which can reproduce various cognitive experiences, is an amazing technology that conveys the experience of touch in a realistic way amid the increasing digitalization of society.”
MIRAISENS CEO Natsuo Koda added, “By receiving Murata Manufacturing’s strong support on the hardware side, we can accomplish the necessary structures for expanding MIRAISENS’s original 3DHaptics technology to various industrial sectors. Along with accelerating the spread of the digital experience business that MIRAISENS has been working on a global scale, I am very much looking forward to greatly innovating research and development in next-generation human machine interface (HMI) technology by drawing on synergies as a member of the Murata Manufacturing Group.”