INSIGHT: The story of NI’s Haptic Drive

A story that has written itself is the perfect way to end the week. And an excellent piece has landed in my social channels courtesy of Native Instruments. The real boundary pushing wow factor of the upcoming Traktor Kontrol S4 mk3 is the new Haptic Drive that delivers physical touch feedback through a motorised jog wheel. And NI has written a blog post that goes into the story of the Haptic Drive, especially the research that went into making it a reality.

This isn’t one for the gear nerds out there. You won’t find out the inner working of their trademarked and probably patented tech without buying one and busting out a screwdriver and soldering iron. But what it does do is offer useful insight into how NI works (not all companies are the same) and how the Haptic Drive became a thing.

Speaking from literally seconds of direct experience on a visit to NI UK, the haptic drive is incredibly clever. The session was a short sharp shock of numerous new NI products that didn’t really allow for a full processing of what we saw. It’s one of those ideas that requires some thought to see the full potential.

But give me a day with my hands on a fully finished and working version and I’ll be able to give you a list of clear use cases for it, as well as ideas for future uses, all of which I imagine have already been thought of by NI anyway. I will do my best to bring some new ideas to the table though.

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