Last month we told you about the Immersion MOTIV platform, which would allow developers to have much more control over the way phones use haptic feedback (the way your phone vibrates). Up to this point, Android haptic feedback has been a very cut and dry affair: it turns on, it turns off, sometimes it's on a little longer, and sometimes it isn't. Immersion, the SDK of which is now available, gives devs the tools to make this a much more varied experience.
Say you are playing a console video game like Uncharted 2 on the PS3. Your controller will vibrate in response to what is going on around you. However, it isn't a standard on/off vibration. There are subtle and profound differences between the feedback that it gives you. It will let you know the difference between major and minor impacts. If a train whizzes by you, the controller's motor may shake very differently than if a massive explosion goes off a few feet away from you. It is another tool to draw you into the game's world and enhance your overall experience.
Up to this point, Android games and apps couldn't utilize anything remotely close to that kind of experience. Immersion SDK will give devs the tools so that they soon will. From soft, feather-like vibrations to a gargantuan tremor that will emit a motorized buzz that can be heard in the next room, Immersion can make it possible.
Two versions of the platform exist: today's new SDK for developers and the MOTIV Integrator, aimed at OEM manufacturers, which has been available since last month.
While these kinds of announcements don't often mean a lot to us non-developer types, when we actually see the results in action, we are astounded at what the tools allowed the developers to create. I have a feeling this will be one of those cases and look forward to seeing the new Android experiences that this door will open.
Devs can check out the Immersion SDK here.