Ultrahaptics

Description

Founded in 2013 around intellectual property originally developed at the University of Bristol, Ultrahaptics is a young technology business that works to enable consumers to interact with electronic devices in a way never seen – or, in this case, felt – before.

The company’s core technology is a haptic feedback system that uses an array of ultrasonic transducers (devices which generate ultrasound vibrations) that create virtual shapes in the air – these can take various forms, such as buttons, sliders and dials, allowing the user to influence the product into which the technology is embedded, be it a car stereo, a gaming device or a household appliance. The haptics technology offers an improvement to the existing, fast-growing market of gesture recognition.

We were introduced to Ultrahaptics by IP Group, which is also a shareholder of the business. The company joined the Woodford Patient Capital Trust’s portfolio in October 2015.

Investment case summary

We invested in Ultrahaptics attracted by the substantial commercial potential of its technology and by the vision and experience of its management team. We have been impressed by how quickly the business has moved from proof of concept through the product development and evaluation stages, now reaching the point of signing contracts for its technology.

The company has also developed a Touch Development Kit, which enables customers to evaluate, experiment with and develop their own mid-air haptics. This represents a great source of business development leads, which is expanding the addressable market and should ultimately strengthen the growth outlook for Ultrahaptics.

The total market opportunity for the company’s mid-air haptic technology is extensive as it can become ubiquitous across a number of industries including gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, automotive, household appliances and consumer electronics. Ultrahaptics already has an array of commercial partners such as Nike, Dell, Intel, Harman International, Bosch and IBM, while it also has over 45 academic partners, including the University of Oxford, the University of Tokyo, Stanford University and MIT. In April 2018, the company received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category.

Ask a question about our investment in Ultrahaptics

Fund exposure
Patient Capital Trust 2.78%

As at 31 October 2018

Aggregated portfolio weight across more than one line of stock.

Segmentation
Geography United Kingdom
Industry Technology
Themes Disruptive technology

Source: Woodford

The concept of being able to feel and manipulate objects without touching is fast becoming a reality – and Ultrahaptics is at the forefront of this radical technology.

Commentary

Completion of funding round

Ultrahaptics has this morning announced the completion of a new £35 million financing round. The raise was oversubscribed and involved participation from existing investors (Woodford included) and also brought new investors on to the register.

We are very pleased with the progress that Ultrahaptics is making with its partners, embedding its haptic technology across a range of applications, including automotive, entertainment, industrial controls and medical interfaces. The additional capital positions the company for the next stage of its development, supporting its commercial and development activities through its global expansion within virtual and augmented reality markets.

Paul Lamacraft
3 December 2018

WPCT 2017 annual report case study

Virtual reality

The concept of being able to feel and manipulate objects without touching is fast becoming a reality – and Ultrahaptics is already making waves.

The Bristol-based company’s technology uses high-frequency ultrasound that allows people to feel without touching. These high frequencies create just enough pressure to make an indentation on the skin enabling people to create and control virtual shapes in the air – these can take various forms, including buttons, sliders and dials.

Dubbed ‘haptic technology’, it has stirred interest from car manufacturers, including Bosch for its concept car, allowing drivers to control dashboards without taking their eyes off the road. The company is also developing products for household appliances, consumer electronics and the gaming industry – its technology is now being used in Las Vegas by gaming giant IGT for one of its most popular game machines.

It has an array of commercial partners including Nike, Dell, Intel, Harman International, Bosch and IBM, while it also has over 45 academic partners, including the University of Oxford, the University of Tokyo, Stanford University and MIT. In April 2018, the company received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category.

24 April 2018

Read the full report

Woodford Investment Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 745433). Incorporated in England and Wales, company number 10118169. Registered address 9400 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2HN.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc is incorporated in England and Wales, company number 09405653. Registered as an investment company under section 833 of the Companies Act 2006. Registered address Beaufort House, 51 New North Road, Exeter, EX4 4EP.

The Woodford Funds (Ireland) ICAV (the “Fund”) has appointed as Swiss Representative Oligo Swiss Fund Services SA, Av. Villamont 17, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland. The Fund’s Swiss paying agent is Neue Helvetische Bank AG. All fund documentation including, Prospectus, Key Investor Information Documents, Instrument of Incorporation and financial reports may be obtained free of charge from the Swiss Representative in Lausanne. The place of performance and jurisdiction for all shares distributed in or from Switzerland is at the registered office of the Swiss Representative. Fund prices can be found at www.fundinfo.com.

© 2018 Woodford Investment Management Ltd.
All rights reserved.

Are you sure?

By disagreeing you will no longer have access to our site and will be logged out.

Privacy Preference Center

Experience Tracking

Lets our analytics service track you across our different websites and enables data sharing among our different marketing tools.

AMCV_[Tracker ID]@AdobeOrg (Adobe), [Tracker ID]@AdobeOrg (Adobe)
Adobe Analytics (helps us provide you with more relevant experiences and content based on your likely interests). Cookies: demdex, dextp, dpm, DST, DSTJS
Twitter personalisation (by better understanding how devices are related, Twitter can use information from one device to help personalize the Twitter experience on another device). Cookies: personalization_id
Heap Analytics (provides metrics on user behaviour and actions throughout the site). Cookies: _gid, _hp2_id.[Tracker ID],_hp2_props.[Tracker ID], _ga, _mkto_trk, optimizelyBuckets, optimizelyEndUserId, optimizelySegments, raygun4js-userid, _attribution_referrer, _csrf
Adobe Analytics (provides you with more relevant experiences and marketing messages based on your likely interests). Cookies: _tmae ,ev_sync_dd,ev_sync_yh,everest_g_v2,gglck

Traffic Metrics

Allows Woodford to aggregate information on website usage and popular content

_ga, _gid
Google Analytics (tracks and reports website traffic and user behaviour): Cookie: CONSENT
New Relic (application and server performance monitoring – allows us to spot problems with our website code and improve them to keep things running smoothly). Cookie: JSESSIONID
Adobe Analytics (provides you with more relevant experiences and marketing messages based on your likely interests). Cookies: __qca,__smToken, _ga, _mkto_trk, _rtbmedia

Search History

Populates the 'recent searches' section of the website navigation.

wf__recent_searches_untracked

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?