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May 19, 2020

Alps Alpine Strengthens Automotive HMI Technology and Product Capabilities
New License Agreement with Immersion Corporation Takes Partnership to a New Level

Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 6770; President & CEO: Toshihiro Kuriyama) has entered a new license agreement with Immersion Corporation (San Francisco, California, U.S.A.), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology. The agreement covers Alps Alpine’s use of Immersion’s Active Sensing™# technology and builds on long-standing collaboration to strengthen business in the automotive human-machine interface (HMI) domain.

Alps Alpine entered into a license agreement relating to touch feedback technology for automotive input devices with Immersion in 2000. A joint collaboration agreement on product creation relating to HAPTIC™ reached in September 2019 has assisted innovation of HMI products delivering enhanced operability and diversity through the fusion of solutions of both Alps Alpine and Immersion.

Next-generation automobile development continues to advance with accelerated innovation in the CASE domains – connected cars, autonomous driving, sharing and services, and electric vehicles – and growing momentum in the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) business, where successive systems have been developed and road-tested, with some services already deployed. The automotive HMI domain is also evolving, characterized by greater integration and multi-functionality of switch and dial controls, as well as the rise of control technologies based on touch input or voice commands, representing a shift away from traditional mechanical operation toward the fusion of hardware and software.

Acting on these technological developments, Alps Alpine has entered a new license agreement with Immersion for the use of Immersion’s Active Sensing™ technology in Alps Alpine products. This strengthens Alps Alpine’s ability to add high-fidelity, high-quality and quick-to-respond tactile effects for next-generation HMI products, including touchscreens, touchpads, switches and dials, thereby assisting in the creation of safe and comfortable driving environments.

Active Sensing™ technology optimizes vibration control in Alps Alpine’s touch feedback technology, and with real-time vibration sensing and actuator control, the software technology dramatically expands the vibration options. In combination with a HAPTIC™ Reactor, which can produce a large vibrational force using two resonance points to generate diverse vibrations, the solution can provide greater vibrational freedom while supporting the trend toward smaller products. The vibration control algorithm also provides outstanding response speed, leading to advanced user experiences with heightened force feedback performance.

Alps Alpine plans to further improve the functionality and performance of its touch feedback technology, while also fusing the technology with software and system development capabilities from the automotive infotainment business segment to advance the development of area control units1 and smart surfaces2 and create HMI products that push input and output inside the vehicle cabin to new heights.

*1. An input format enabling seamless control of in-vehicle systems connected and coordinated over a network with freedom in the installation location
*2. Multifunctional, high-performance surface materials with input control and display functionality
(#) "Active Sensing™" is a trademark of Immersion

About Immersion

Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR) is the leading innovator of touch feedback technology, also known as force feedback. The company provides technology solutions for creating immersive and realistic experiences that enhance digital interactions by engaging users’ sense of touch. Immersion’s technology has been adopted in more than 3 billion digital devices and provides force feedback in mobile, automotive, gaming, and consumer electronics products. Immersion is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices worldwide. Learn more at www.immersion.com.