Bristol Company Ultrahaptics That Lets You ‘Feel’ Virtual Objects Gets Multi-Million Investment

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Ultrahaptics, a Bristol company that invented a technology that lets people ‘feel’ virtual objects in mid-air, has raised £35million.

The company was founded in 2013 based on technology developed at the University of Bristol. The money will be spent developing “exciting” new products, it has said.

This technology allows users to interact with virtual objects using only their hands.

Ultrahaptics is now working with multinational companies including global electronics giants Harman and Bosch.

The company has begun successfully using the tech in cars and on digital street signs that people can interact with.

The technology has also been developed to work with industrial controls, medical interfaces and augmented reality and virtual reality games.

The company also supports academics worldwide through a programme designed to enable additional research and development.

Ultrahaptics chief executive Steve Cliffe, said: “Our funding has become ever more global, reflecting the potential of our technology in industry sectors and markets all over the world.”

The investment round was led by finance firm Mayfair Equity Partners but also included new investor Australian pension fund Hotplus.

Ultrahaptics’ existing shareholders include IP Group plc, Woodford Investment, Cornes and Dolby Family Ventures, which also invested in the third round of fundraising.

Dr Mark Reilly, managing partner of Technology at IP Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome such high-quality new investors to join us in supporting the next stage of growth at Ultrahaptics.

“The company is yet another example of a top UK ‘deep tech’ start-up.”