The gold standard of smartphone haptics has — unfortunately — been Apple and the Taptic Engine for years at this stage. We’ve seen great improvements from the likes of Google, Oppo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus, but Qualcomm and Lofelt have now partnered with the express aim to “bring advanced haptics to the Android ecosystem.”
Often our interactions with our smartphones are brief, but nuances like the vibration feedback — or haptics — when typing, swiping, tapping, and just generally interacting with your Android device can make or break and experience. This recent announcement of a new partnership between Qualcomm and Lofelt aims to provide a “universal haptic software framework that runs natively on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.”
We are pleased to announce a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies to bring advanced haptics to the Android ecosystem. Under the partnership agreement, Lofelt and Qualcomm will deliver a universal haptic software framework that runs natively on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform to enhance Android phones with next-generation haptics for mobile gaming and other immersive experiences.
Android OEMs will be able to license this universal software framework and API in any Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices, so that these “advanced,” “next-generation haptics” can be utilized in areas like mobile gaming and with video content.
In a separate blog post, Lofelt is aiming to close the gap between Android and iOS haptics with a software-focused approach that allows Android OEMs to tailor their own hardware to suit. A wider aim to provide accessory makers with the ability to utilize the APIs to produce even better accessories that also provide improved haptic experiences.
Whether or not this partnership manages to improve haptics across the board remains to be seen, especially as not all Android OEMs use Qualcomm’s chipsets. It could end up creating an even greater gap between other chipmakers such as Samsung and MediaTek. However, it could work in reverse and ensure that all Android device haptics are elevated as a result.
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