What is Haptic Technology and What are Its Uses?

August 19, 2021

The phrase “haptic technology” may be unfamiliar, but the technology itself is definitely one you know well.

It’s when devices involve the sense of touch in the user experience. A common example is when you put your phone on vibrate to avoid disturbances. Although the tech may seem simple, it has tons of incredible applications you might not know.

Doha® 5G phones and laptops pack it for exactly that reason. And, today, we’ll be telling you about some of those exciting uses and giving you a grasp of how the tech works.

A brief look at how haptic technology works

Haptics encompasses multiple technologies, as opposed to just one. While the aim is the same and often the result too, devices and manufacturers take different approaches to haptic feedback. Common haptic technologies include:

  • Vibrotactile haptics: tiny motors create vibrations and other tactile effects e.g. PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch
  • Ultrasonic mid-air haptics: algorithm-controlled ultrasound waves interact to create pressure users feel even without contact
  • Surface haptics: programmable effects and textures that activate in response to the force of a user’s touch
  • Force control: especially for VR, levers and other mechanical devices exert force on the user’s limbs
  • Microfluidics: air or liquid in small chambers create pressure pockets that users feel as force

Its varied, cross-device applications

Haptic feedback works differently across devices. So, now, we’ll look at the most common ones that use it and how they do so to offer a more convenient or immersive user experience.


The most common use on phones is notifying users while the phone is on silent mode.

Third-party apps enable even more creative applications for haptic technology. The Android and iOS app stores are jam-packed with apps that make use of phones’ vibration motors. Massage simulators are a fun example.

Phones also use haptic technology for 3D touch. That’s when you press your screen for more than a second to trigger a menu or an alternate command. Since counting three or four seconds or whatever setting you have wouldn’t be any fun, vibrations are a cool way to signal that you’ve pressed long enough.


Wearables can also send you subtle and private health notifications. For example, if your heart rate goes higher than normal, the distinct notification may be, say, four medium-force vibrations. With your watch always on your wrist and in direct contact with your skin, it’s hard to miss a notification.


Haptic feedback isn’t as common on laptops. Probably, you haven’t felt like anything’s missing because of that. The scope for applications just isn’t as huge. And there isn’t really a pressing need.

The minority of laptops that have it mainly use it on the trackpad.

We’re innovators here at Doha®, so you never know what surprises our next line of products will have. Stay in touch with us and you’ll be the first to know.

Gaming controllers

We mentioned some of what makes haptic feedback great for games while we were discussing phones.

If you’re even a casual gamer, the name “PlayStation DualShock” rings a bell. Xbox, Google Stadia, and nearly all major consoles today integrate this functionality. It makes for immersive experiences. And, with a controller’s form factor, there’s room for components that enable stronger and more nuanced vibration that corresponds with on-screen action.

Find out more from us, or go ahead and get your tech!

We know this isn’t your last question. Let us hear the rest! Our team is eager to help you get a better understanding of tech that can make your life easier and more productive. We’d also be pleased to share how our very own Doha products might be what you’re looking for.

Call us today on 1-888-DOHAINC .

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