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Remote touch with IoT devices

7 min read

Remote-touch-HeyBracelet_00-300pxIf anything has become clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hugely important for people to keep in touch. We are attuned to touch, be it a simple hand on our shoulder, hand shake, a hug or a kiss, it makes us happier. Touch in a general sense but also in a more intimate way. Social distancing and the (intelligent) lockdown made it impossible for people to see and touch each other. How can you solve the need for intimacy? Due to travel restrictions some people were unable to be with their partner.

But can we experience a sense of touch over the internet? The answer comes from an area you probably do not expect, IoT devices! But not just any device! Recently I spoke about this topic in the Dutch radio show "Zakendoen" at BNR Newsradio and I will explain you more in this blog.

IoT Devices

Many devices such as thermometers, motion sensors, burglar alarms and so on have begun to connect to online services and platforms. For a couple of hundred euros or dollars you can equip your house with all kinds of home monitoring devices that allow you to live in more comfort, use less energy and increase the feeling of security.

That IoT device that you are using probably has an app or a platform that comes with it. Communication often takes place using an API since that is the no hassle way of communication. On top of the API we invariably see a level of security like tokens, passwords, federated authentication and so. Because regardless of the device, we don’t want other people to access the device or manipulate it, so API Security must be in place.

Sexual health and wellness

When we are talking about the area of sexual health and wellness, we increasingly see connectivity in devices. Sales of (connected) sex toys like Ohmibod have increased by as much as 75% since the start of the Corona crisis. Talk about a need for touch!

This is an area that ranges from the solutions for kegel exercises and other issues to the increased enjoyment of sex. Devices (e.g. sex toys) play a role in them. Creating a platform or app to control the device is a costly and specialist job and Dutch company Feelrobotics, saw an opportunity. The company, led by CEO Toon Timmermans, has developed a platform to enable that connection between IoT devices. It’s a platform for connectivity and touch in general.

One of the products of Feelrobotics is the Hey Bracelet. The Hey Bracelet enables you to send a touch over the internet to your loved ones, mediated through a platform. This bracelet was originally part of a Dutch research program called Commit. This subproject, where I was responsible for as project manager, asked a simple question: can we transport touch over the internet?

Just a regular IT platform

The platform of Feelrobotics is also a secure platform to connect sex toys which, of course, are IoT devices as well. The platform allows, for example, interactive play with a device between partners. Adult entertainment can become truly interactive where the performers actions are transmitted to devices around the world that mimic the action locally.

What’s cool is that the feel platform is not that much different from an integration platform. All elements are there: users, security and encryption, enterprise service bus (connecting devices that function in a different way or different language) and API Management to manage APIs.

Like mentioned earlier, API security is essential for such platforms. Platforms offering delicate and private services, must be highly secure. You don’t want a hacker to access these very private IoT devices. 

Benefit

Platforms like our Connext platform allow organizations too quickly and securely start doing business rather than managing an environment and keep it up to date. The Feelrobotics platform is quite similar, it allows device manufacturers to quickly integrate their devices and make them interactive allowing for new use cases like the ones mentioned before.

The input does not always have to come from a partner. Other ways of integration are also investigated like the integration with gaming engines such as unreal and unity that allows the integration of devices in games and gameplay. The automated interpretation of actions in adult video content or webcams and the transmission to the device via the platform, is another area where Feelrobotics develops functionality.

Sense of touch

Feelrobotics is partnering with immersion, the leading company in the area of haptics. Haptics means the sense of touch and immersion’s products are used in automotive, mobile, gaming devices and numerous industries. This new partnership allows new and better haptic experiences and therefor more fun.

The Feelrobotics platform allows new ways of entertainment and interaction, in other words: the platform is the digital innovation enabler, especially during times where live interaction is not possible. It is great to see that integration innovation continues to deliver better experiences in all businesses.

Let's get in touch!

Do you want to discuss about this topic or want to know more about our Connext platform or API Security? Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us!

Also join our API Security webinar on October 22 to learn more about the importance of API Security, how to secure your APIs and how to overcome API vulnerabilities.

Webinar: Why API Security is important for your organization | Yenlo

 

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Published October 6, 2020

Rob Blaauboer

Rob is an Integration Consultant & WSO2 Trainer with more than twenty year experience. In addition to his work he is an active blogger working on a number of articles on the ‘Internet of Things’ and a WSO2 ‘Getting Started with …’ series (WSO2 tutorial) in which he talks about WSO2 components and their purpose especially aimed at non-technical readers. Rob is a WSO2 expert and official WSO2 trainer.

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