The Power of Haptics: Elevating Wellness to the Next Level

Haptics in Wellness

In the rapidly evolving wellness industry, innovation and technology often intertwine to create transformative solutions. A key example of this is the use of haptics, a technology that has proven to be a game-changer in many industries, including gaming and mobile. 

The wellness space isn’t immune to this trend. 

In 2022, the global wellness industry was valued at USD 5.61 trillion. This number is projected to grow to an estimated USD 8.47 trillion by 2027 (Statista). A global report from McKinsey also found that there’s a growing demand for wellness products and services, with roughly half of the surveyed consumers having purchased fitness wearables and 82% of consumers prioritizing it in their daily lives (Strategy Online). This is also reflected in the surge of investments in technology for stress and anxiety management—a remarkable 196% increase for devices and 197% for wearables (TechRound). It’s clear that there’s a demand for products within this space. 

As social and tactile beings, we find immense comfort and solace from our sense of touch. Whether it’s a loved one’s gentle touch or the cozy warmth of a thick blanket on a cold winter day, these tactile experiences play a role in our overall health and well-being (Researchgate). 

Wellness, A Haptic History

Incorporating touch into wellness is not a recent development. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine traces the use of vibration to treat medical conditions all the way back to the 18th century, when carriage rides on rough cobblestones were associated with positive health effects. In the 19th century, Dr. Jégu, inspired by these observations, designed a vibrating chair that would help alleviate Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. Similarly, Gilles de la Tourette utilized vibration therapy on the brain through the invention of a vibrating helmet, which showed significant potential in treating conditions such as insomnia, migraines, and depression.

Nowadays, the concept of touch as a therapeutic tool has evolved and expanded, with haptic applications becoming increasingly prevalent. Stress balls and fidget spinners, for instance, have been widely adopted as effective tools for managing stress and improving focus. These tactile tools work by providing a physical outlet for nervous energy and anxiety, helping to calm the mind and enhance concentration.  Massage chairs and vibrating foam rollers are also used to relieve muscle tension and promote relaxation.

Advanced haptics in wellness devices pushes these ideas a step further. Sophisticated haptic feedback allows for more detailed sensations, leading to a more immersive and therapeutic experience. Advanced haptic devices are engineered to deliver accurate and personalized tactile sensations, offering an unprecedented level of interaction and engagement.

Moreover, advanced haptics can make wellness devices more intuitive to use. Studies show that from a user experience perspective, haptics technology enhances the intuitiveness and user-friendliness of devices and wearables (Researchgate). Users also perform better with haptics—a study conducted by students at the University of Oxford showed that haptics bolstered the effectiveness of the positive messages the participants received and allowed them to perform better in a related task (Do Better). 

Below, we list some of the most popular use cases of haptics in wellness devices. 

 

Fitness and Rehabilitation

Devices can use haptic feedback to guide users in performing exercises correctly, reducing the risk of injury and improving exercise outcomes. For instance, if a user is performing a squat incorrectly, a haptic-enabled device could vibrate to alert the user and guide them into the correct posture. Similarly, fitness bands like the FitBit and MiBand 7 use haptic alerts to remind you when you haven’t met your hourly activity goal, or to signal if your heart rate exceeds a set limit during a workout, prompting you to rest. 

Stress Management

Haptics can also be used to reduce stress. Devices such as the Sensate use gentle vibrations that can help to regulate the body’s stress response. These devices work by stimulating the nervous system, essentially ‘tricking’ it into a state of relaxation. This can lead to reduced anxiety, improved focus, and better sleep quality. 

Meditation

Meditation aids and devices also use haptics to guide users through mediation routines and enhance the user’s mindfulness experience. One example of this is the Muse S headband, a meditation wearable that uses haptic feedback to guide users through their meditation practice. The device vibrates gently to bring the user’s attention back to their breath if their mind begins to wander.

Sleep and Recovery

Sleep is a critical component of wellness. Sleep devices and sleep aids use tactile feedback to enhance the quality of sleep for users. For example, the Apollo Neuro uses haptics to create calming vibrations to help the user wind down before bedtime. Sleep trackers such as the Whoop 4.0 also employ haptics to gently alert users of their bedtime and waking time to help them ensure maximum sleep and recovery. 

Beauty

Haptics is also making its mark in the beauty industry, offering an enhanced user experience with beauty devices. For instance, the FOREO LUNA 3 facial cleansing brush utilizes haptic technology to deliver T-Sonic pulsations that are designed to reach into the pores for deep cleansing. These devices not only enhance the efficacy of beauty treatments but also provide a soothing and relaxing experience similar to that of a spa, right at home. 

It’s clear that advanced haptics provides numerous benefits to users, and allows for many different use cases. But why should companies invest in this technology for their devices? 

Benefits for Wellness Companies 

To capitalize on this growing market, wellness companies can leverage advanced haptics technology. Advanced haptics can enhance the value proposition of their products, making them more appealing to consumers. Furthermore, haptic technology can also foster a more engaging and intuitive user experience, and provide users with customization opportunities, so they can tailor their digital experiences to their specific needs and preferences. 

Moreover, integrating advanced haptics can significantly elevate a company’s brand perception, enhancing their image and attracting new customers. This opens up new revenue streams, as companies can offer premium versions of their products, or develop innovative haptic-based products or services. 

It’s exciting to anticipate a future where our engagement with computers and devices becomes more natural and intuitive. We can only wait and see how else haptics can further shape the wellness industry.

If you’re interested in exploring what advanced HD haptics can do for your product, feel free to reach out to us here.

 

Related Articles

Why Haptics? Unveiling the Benefits and Applications of Haptic Technology
The Power of Touch and How Six Companies Use Haptics to Innovate
Understanding Haptics: A Journey through the History and Evolution of Haptic Technology

Menu