Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (head office: Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto Prefecture, chairman of the board and president: Tsuneo Murata; hereafter “Murata Manufacturing”) and MIRAISENS, Inc. (head office: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; CEO: Natsuo Koda; hereafter “MIRAISENS”), which offers haptic solutions technology using 3DHaptics technology*1, have signed an agreement for MIRAISENS to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing. However, the specific terms and conditions of this agreement have not been disclosed.
*1 By combining vibrations of various intensity generated by a device, this technology combines the three senses of “force,” including the feeling of being pulled or pushed, “pressure,” the feeling of touch, firmness and softness, and “tactility,” the feeling of surface textures, thus recreating real sensory feelings.
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*2,” the world’s first haptic technology established on a neuroscientific basis by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Tsukuba head office: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; president: Ryoji Chubachi; hereafter “AIST”).
*2 Discovered for the first time in the world by Dr. Norio Nakamura at AIST. By generating illusions in the human brain through dermal stimuli, this technology creates a mental illusion.
MIRAISENS’s haptic solutions 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.
For example, this technology can make it seem as if one were actually feeling the softness or texture of objects expressed as digital content in VR games. MIRAISENS is achieving these outstanding product characteristics with small and low-cost hardware through its original programming and housing design.
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.
Murata Manufacturing’s Chairman of the Board and President Tsuneo Murata said the following about this acquisition:
“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. I am very happy that we will be able to work on creating new value by combining MIRAISENS’s technology and the technology held by the Murata Group.”
MIRAISENS CEO Natsuo Koda said the following about this acquisition:
“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.”
About Murata Manufacturing
Murata Manufacturing is a global comprehensive electronic parts maker active in the development, production, and sale of electronic parts based on ceramics. By creating original products based on a technological foundation of originally developed and accumulated material development, process development, product design, production technology, and software and analysis and evaluation supporting the above, Murata continues to contribute to the development of electronic society.
MIRAISENS is an AIST technology transfer venture founded in 2014 in order to spread the illusionary haptics technology discovered at AIST in society. As a research and development company engaged in cutting-edge HMI technology including haptics, which is sometimes called the third medium, MIRAISENS continues to innovate and spread artificial experience technology and human augmentation technology that will achieve a more prosperous human future, based on various elemental technology founded on neuroscience.
Murata in Brief
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of ceramic-based passive electronic components & solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. Murata is committed to the development of advanced electronic materials and leading edge, multi-functional, high-density modules. The company has employees and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. For more information, visit Murata's website at www.murata.com