mid_air_touch_haptics_home_appliances-ultrahapticsBristol-based Ultrahaptics, the company that’s revolutionsing how we interact with the world through mid-air haptic feedback – or feeling in thin air (pictured right), has been recognised by NMI – a champion for the UK’s electronic systems industry and technology sector – at its 25th-anniversary awards this month.

“Our technology is innovative because it makes our interactions with machines more natural and human”


Heather Macdonald-Tait, Marketing Manager at Ultrahaptics, tells us: “We were honoured to receive the award. There is some amazing innovation coming out of the UK at the moment. I think the key to our success this year was both the technical leap in the innovation – modulating ultrasound so that it is physically tangible is quite a feat of engineering – but also the potential for this innovation to make Ultrahaptics a leading tech company in the UK.”

“The technology has implications for so many applications, changing the way we interact with the technology all around us. Our technology is elegant and simple to use but it’s based on human nature. Our technology is innovative because it makes our interactions with machines more natural and human.” You can see what she means in the video below:


Winners in the West

Along with a huge number of high-calibre shortlisted companies across awards recognising everything from ‘Young Engineer of the Year’ to ‘Emerging Technology’ and ‘Product of the Year’, a number of other South West businesses were awarded, proving the region’s strength as a cluster for innovation.

“In Bristol, two excellent universities consistently turn out bright, enquiring minds”


fusion-processing-nmi-awardsSouth West winners included global engineering firm Renishaw who won ‘Company of the Year’, Fusion Processing (pictured below right) – creators of cycle safety cameras CycleEye – who won the Automotive Electronics Innovation & Excellence Award, and University of Bristol student Joanna Taylor who won the UKESF Scholar of the Year Award for her work at global technology company, Imagination Technologies.

Supportive SW tech ecosystem

Commenting on the South West’s success at the NMI awards, Heather adds: “I think it’s a combination of factors around a supportive ecosystem and enviable lifestyle.

“In Bristol, specifically, two excellent universities consistently turn out bright, enquiring minds. There is then a superb ecosystem to support them in organisations such as SETSquared and first homes such as Engine Shed. These networks mean that entrepreneurs can concentrate on being innovative and, well, entrepreneurial – as all the main constituents to support business plans are there.

“Then there’s the lifestyle. Bristol has amazing countryside on its doorstep, an amazing music scene, art and culture in every neighborhood, and all this has time and time again tempted the most loyal Londoners out of the M25 force-field to enjoy vibrant lives and successful careers, not to mention a true sense of community, especially in the tech sector. Some of the country’s top talent is drawn by this combination and this continues to feed and grow the ecosystem.”

Ultrahaptics has recently launched development kits for evaluation and prototyping of its touchless gesture controls and is expanding its Bristol team of developers and engineers rapidly.

Find out more about the NMI awards and other winners across the UK by checking out the NMI awards website or follow them on Twitter: @nmiawards.

Alice Whale