Bristol-based Ultraleap and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, have signed a five-year agreement to include Ultraleap’s ‘virtual touch’ technologies on a long-term basis.

The Aquarium’s Honda Pacific Visions Theater, the keystone project of the Pacific Visions wing, already features Ultraleap’s hand tracking and mid-air haptic technology. This new agreement solidifies and expands the relationship between these two organizations so that the virtual touch technology can continue to engage visitors for years to come.

The Pacific Visions wing opened in May 2019 and features a number of cutting-edge technologies to provide a truly multi-sensory experience for everyone, including those with disabilities.

The Honda Pacific Visions Theater is an immersive 4D theater within the wing, simulating the sights, smells, and sounds of the ocean. The Aquarium of the Pacific, Ultraleap and Cortina Productions worked together to create a multisensory film experience. Ultraleap’s technology, which uses ultrasound to create the sensation of touch in mid-air, allows users to feel (without touching anything) what is being shown on screen: a wave splash, the blades of a windmill rotating or foam bubbles bursting. This type of experience is highly engaging and rewarding for visitors with visual or hearing disabilities.

Saurabh Gupta, Director of OOH Product at Ultraleap, said: “The Honda Pacific Visions Theater at the Aquarium of the Pacific is state-of-the-art and we are so proud to be part of it. We are excited to be a part of this project that embraces inclusivity and can’t wait to see how the content evolves and where you may find ‘virtual touch’ experiences next.”

John Rouse, Aquarium of the Pacific’s Vice President of Operations, said: “We have had amazing feedback about Ultraleap’s virtual touch technology from our visitors. I’m pleased we can continue to secure it for visitors and explore future use cases of the touchless technology in the Aquarium.”

The Aquarium’s indoor areas, including Pacific Visions, are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.