Welcome to the next evolution of music and sensory immersion with GroundWaves haptic sneakers. Are you ready to truly feel sound? Wherever you are, whenever you want, our revolutionary haptic sneakers are here to transform the way you experience music, games, and collective entertainment. Join us on this incredible journey as we delve into the heart of innovation and creativity.

Unveiling GroundWaves: Redefining Haptic Sensations

Prepare yourself to transcend the boundaries of traditional audio experiences. As part of the MyWorld Challenge Call led by Digital Catapult, GroundWaves is pioneering a groundbreaking haptic calibration tool that takes your sensory encounters to a new dimension. Whether you’re at a hybrid live-music event or deep into a gaming adventure, our technology promises an enhanced haptic experience like never before. The project encompasses intricate hardware design and a user-centric app for seamless haptic calibration. All of this will seamlessly integrate into our signature GroundWaves haptic sneakers, setting a new standard for consuming music and collective experiences through virtual and augmented reality.

GroundWaves Haptic Roots

We are an award-winning haptic technology company based in Bristol.

Our motivation is to use haptic-audio to bring you the best experience of music possible, so you can unlock a new level of sound that is beyond what large speakers can replicate, providing you a new sensation of sub-sonic vibration embedded in every music track or game you play.

We’re proud to be chosen as one of the Creative Industries council’s 100 ones-to-watch in CreaTech and to be a GITEX Future Star as part of Expo2020 Dubai, as a leader in Fashion-tech.

CEO of GroundWaves, Dr Nick Inoue has been on a personal endeavour since 2008, to bring you the leading haptic-audio system. A journey in which has taken him from his SubStrike Bass-body seat launch in 2017, where he took on the not-so-simple task of miniaturising the technology, without compromising on the fidelity and power of the sensation.

The breakthrough came in 2018 with the development of a smaller but more powerful haptic vibration actuator, enabling wearable haptic products.

The idea for haptic-audio sneakers, a totally new concept, was an idea which Nick says was inspired by the feedback from people experiencing his body-bass seat, and saying that feeling the music vibrations made them want to dance. By embedding a vibrating haptic actuator in each shoe, you can feel  music’s vibrations from your feet, while you listen with headphones, giving you an illusion of loudness.

Initially, he was so unconvinced about the feasibility of a haptic shoe that he only built the left side proof of concept. That is, until he turned it on for the first time and experienced how amazing and natural it feels to experience vibration from your feet, and how sensitive they are to low frequencies.

To take his concept to the next level and add flair to the design. Nick partnered with footwear design virtuoso and co-founder Chris Newman-Smart. Together, they honed a sleek prototype integrated with their revolutionary haptic actuator, launching GroundWaves haptic sneakers in December 2019.

Subsequently, they’ve evolved into a compact team of remarkably skilled individuals who wholeheartedly embrace the GroundWaves haptic sneakers vision.

Bringing over 25 years of investment management experience, Ben Cooper has held significant roles, including Commercial Director and COO positions at subsidiaries of a FTSE 100 company. Following his 2018 MBI exit, he has been dedicated to nurturing Startup and ScaleUp ventures, actively participating as an Angel Investor. Since 2021, Ben has been an instrumental part of GroundWaves as a board director.

Guiding their digital strategy and product-market alignment is Vince Cox, a specialist in digital product management. Complementing this is Nina Henderson, a marketing consultant who is propelling their marketing plan and launch efforts.

Bernard James, with a distinguished track record overseeing projects from the launch of the PS2 to the PS5 during his two decades at Sony, has been a steadfast advisor to GroundWaves since its inception.

What’s Our Secret Sauce?

Our haptic technology is built from the ground-up and includes our proprietary haptic vibration actuator and patented calibration drive system.

Most haptic systems have specific frequencies that they will vibrate at with greater amplitude, known as resonant frequencies. Therefore, certain musical frequencies are felt more intensely due to these resonances, potentially leaving desired frequencies overlooked. Furthermore, our bodies interaction with haptic systems alters their resonant frequencies, making it challenging to design systems with a consistent frequency response.

Our haptic calibration tool measures the vibrational characteristics with you in-situ and corrects for resonances and dips in the haptic frequency response, allowing you experience all frequencies the same intensity, providing you haptic audio at hi-fidelity and reassuring musicians that they are providing their fans with the best experience of their music possible.

We plan to integrate our calibration tool into our haptic sneakers, along with exploring licencing opportunities.

Unlike early haptic systems which employ rotating mass vibration motors, GroundWaves uses voice coil technology, similar to that of a loudspeaker. Our proprietary concentric voice coil configuration provides the maximum influence over the moving mass, and therefore provides haptics at a higher fidelity than possible with competitor haptic voice-coil actuators, in a smaller volume.

Our unique actuator design has many uses beyond haptics which includes medical, industrial and defence applications. Because the extra force provided by the concentric voice coils means lower grade neodymium magnets can be employed, and still provide the same performance.

We are excited to have partnered with a company which has developed a clean process to recover neodymium from old server hard-drives, reducing 98% toxic impact compared to mining. Together we are working on developing a recycled neodymium magnet and robust supply-chain, for our haptic actuators.

With our user-centered calibration tool paired with our high-fidelity haptic actuator, you’ll have never experienced music in as much detail.

Haptic News

We are excited to have been selected as one of the trailblazing companies on the MyWorld open call challenge.  With the incredible help and mentoring from call lead Digital Catapult and the MyWorld team. This scheme has unlocked new opportunities and forwarded our business goals.

More technically, the grant has enabled us to develop a functional haptic calibration tool and the first prototype app which has enabled us to get critically important user-feedback and insights about our system before we finalise our calibration tool.

We are ecstatic to announce the news that we have been awarded an InnovateUK grant as part of the CreativeCatalyst fund. We will use this to develop a ready-for-manufacture actuator, benchmark it alongside competitors and explore novel manufacturing techniques of our top-secret new footwear design.

Join Us on Our Quest­­­­

GroundWaves invites you to be part of our exciting journey. Immerse yourself in one of our user experience days and witness the magic firsthand.

As we strive to finalize our electronics and shape our marketing strategy, we are actively seeking seed investment to drive our vision to fruition. Become a part of this revolution as we redefine sensory music experiences with GroundWaves haptic sneakers.

Follow us on Instagram, X, LinkedIn, www.GroundWaves.co.uk

Contact us at: Sound@groundwaves.co.uk