The Omnia haptic controller lets you feel the gaming experience

Omnia is an adaptive control element for the home entertainment system, which focuses on the gaming area at home.

The Omnia System consists of two devices: the Puck as a remote control and the Home Station, which serves as a charging station and storage place for the Puck.

A recess in the Home Station allows the puck to slide easily into the station when placed and centres the puck for optimal charging results.

Omnia works as a volume control, device for answering calls, a track pad and a gaming controller.

Inside the circular device, its components include a mainboard with NFC-Chips, a piezo sensor, which measures changes in pressure and acceleration, and a taptic engine, which provides users with haptic feedback.

©Jonas Kathan

This is contained within a coil stator and magnet rotor.

When deciding on the final design, Kathan trialled several prototypes with his target market, which showed that even users with large hands preferred smaller models.

“Furthermore, an upwardly tapered truncated cone was found to be better than simple cylinder shapes because the shape provides more contact area for the fingers,” he says. 

“Many testers picked up the remote directly and placed it on their palm for operation.

[Meanwhile] models that did not offer a noticeable difference in elevation between the display surface and the edge often caused the finger to slip off the display surface when performing swipe gestures.”

“This made it difficult to execute several commands via gestures one after the other, since the finger had to be placed on the device again and again, which required visual contact.”

To ensure a smooth user experience Kathan integrated artificial input restrictions including a solenoid coil that stops the volume knob from turning when the maximum volume is reached.

“Similar in design to a brushless electric motor, this coil-magnet combination can simulate both click steps of different strengths and stops,” he explains. 

“By selectively controlling the individual coils, the rotary wheel can be held in any position or even turn on its own.

This allows the system to reduce the interaction of the turning movement to the possible settings.

The user cannot perform any interactions at this point that do not lead to a goal.”

©Jonas Kathan

Haptic controls streamline the complexities of everyday life

“In our ever more complex daily lives, Omnia brings digital minimalism to the world of remote controls,” says Kathan.

“For applications in the respective field, the possibility to configure specific use cases.” 

“All functions are designed so that the game does not have to be interrupted, and all audio interactions can be comfortably carried out via Omnia in parallel to the game.

Just like while driving a car, all functions should be controllable from the seat position.

This design transforms the desk at home into a kind of home cockpit.”

©Jonas Kathan
©Jonas Kathan


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