Ultraleap CTO wins coveted Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering
Posted; July 1, 2021
Tom will be presented with the Silver Medal on Tuesday 13 July. The globally renowned Silver Medal recognises an outstanding and demonstrated personal contribution to UK engineering that has resulted in successful market exploitation.
Tom invented Ultraleap’s haptic technology during his studies at the University of Bristol and subsequently co-founded the company in 2013 to commercialise the product. Since then, Tom has built a portfolio of over 160 patents on this technology, being a named inventor on many of the applications.
On receiving the award, Tom said: “I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award from the Academy. When we first set out to commercialise our haptics product, I had no idea what was in store. I’m proud of what we’ve created at Ultraleap and I’m so fortunate to have amassed such a talented and impressive team that are dedicated to continual innovation and the development of our technologies.”
Sir Hossein Yassaie FREng, Chair of TechWorks and an advisor to Ultraleap, said: “Tom has guided the team at Ultraleap to overcome impressive technical challenges and directed the company to tremendous commercial success including a recent major deal with Qualcomm to make Ultraleap’s technology the primary interaction method for the next generation of virtual and augmented reality headsets. He also led the development of Ultraleap’s TouchFree product, which enables people to use public touchscreens without touching them. The solution helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and could encourage consumers back to cinemas, shopping malls and restaurants.”
Ultraleap’s haptic technology uses ultrasound to create tactile sensations in mid-air. Sound waves from a collection of small ultrasonic speakers are focused onto the user’s hands, causing the skin to vibrate and elicit the sensation of touch. It is used in a number of different industries, including extended reality (VR & AR), digital signage, kiosks, automotive, industrial automation, consumer electronics, and entertainment.
This is not the first Royal Academy of Engineering award for Tom. In 2016, he won the Academy’s Colin Campbell Mitchell award with his two co-inventors.
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Ultraleap’s world-leading hand tracking and unrivalled mid-air haptic technologies allow you to engage with the digital world naturally - without touching surfaces. No touchscreens. No controllers. No keypads. From enhancing 2D screens to developing fully immersive 3D experiences, Ultraleap powers natural, safe and effortless digital interaction in the increasingly connected world.
Ultraleap employs more than 150 people across Europe, North America and Asia. It has become the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable spatial computing for the automotive, out of home, industrial, XR, entertainment and medical sectors.
(Interviews, photos and videos available on request).