Tanvas Raises $5M to Transform Interactions on Touchscreen Devices

Chicago startup enables consumers to experience texture and force with the patented haptic technology

CHICAGO, June 23, 2015–Tanvas, a startup poised to transform the touchscreen into a full sensory experience, today announced its Series A round of $5 million which was led by R7 Partners and included Peak6, Northwestern University, and two Silicon Valley venture investors. Tanvas, previously known as Tangible Haptics, will use the funding to expand the development team as it advances toward commercial realization of its technology. Touchscreen devices have increasingly benefitted from high definition graphics and audio, and now Tanvas’ technology couples those advances with high-resolution touch effects. Images are transformed into physical interactions.

With Tanvas, objects on a touchscreen can be heavy or light, stretchy or stiff, sticky or slick, and have any kind of texture imaginable. Children can feel a bird’s feathers or a rhino’s skin, shoppers can feel the texture of a cashmere, cotton or wool sweater before a mobile purchase, drivers can locate buttons on the screen while keeping their eyes on the road, plus those with visual impairments can navigate display devices using their sense of touch. Education, gaming, entertainment, social media, automotive, and many other applications become multidimensional as a result of touch integration.

“Tanvas has created a sense of realism that simply must be experienced to be believed,” says R7 Partners investor Tyler Engh. “Imagine you’re looking at a picture of a beach on your smartphone’s display. With Tanvas, you can literally feel the sand on your fingertips. It’s like your phone comes to life. Once you experience it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.”

“The major drawback of touchscreens has always been the missing element of physical feedback,” says Greg Topel, CEO of Tanvas. “We constantly interact with the world through the sense of touch. Yet until now, that has not been possible in our electronic devices. Tanvas finally empowers touchscreens what we didn’t know we were missing: true interaction with what you see.”

Tanvas will demonstrate this transformative touchscreen experience to leading haptic researchers and global tech giants at the IEEE World Haptics Conference in Evanston, IL from June 23-25. To learn more, visit the Tanvas booth at Northwestern University’s Norris Center or go to tanvas.co.