Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a single day
Well, by that standard I don't think that anyone at Ultrahaptics feels like they are working. There are many things I love about my job and in the next few lines I'll try to pen down my viewpoint that explains why working for Ultrahaptics doesn't feel like work.
I guess this blog is also quite timely since there are currently a few openings if you or someone you know is looking to join our exciting journey.
And it truly feels like an epic journey. Five months after I first joined UH in 2017, a group of us were out in one of Bristol's many local pubs showing our American colleagues (Ultrahaptics has an office in Bristol and in Palo Alto) a good time and trying some of the local beers. The night was full of work related discussions about what we wanted to do and how we were going to do it. We'd collaborate with X and develop with Y and demo at Z. It was going to be great! Never had I felt such team motivation and passion before. At some point, one of them raised his glass and said to me "let's change the world" (he probably doesn't remember saying this, but I do). Note that there was no senior management present and we had had a couple of pints already. Nevertheless, coming from an academic background where research publications on average receive 10-50 reads/citations, I found his words extremely impactful and refreshing. A year later and the journey continues and is as exciting as ever.
Ultrahaptics has developed a technology that enables you to feel virtual objects without touching them - no wearables or hand-held controllers needed. Sounds like magic doesn't it? Here's a simplified explanation of how this magic works: we write code that is interpreted by our patented algorithms that instruct a set of complex electronic components to drive 100s of ultrasonic speakers at particular amplitudes and phases. The ultrasonic waves interfere constructively such that several high pressure points are created in the air above. When touched by a human these pressure points cause small vibrations onto the skin that can be sensed by a collection of tiny sensors embedded under our skin called mechanoreceptors. These mechanoreceptors are connected with nerves that transport the received vibration signals through our somatosensory system to the brain where they are decoded and translated into a tactile perception or haptic feedback. Depending on the initial code input, we can therefore create different tactile perceptions, e.g., the perception of fingertip grasping of a virtual object, or a button click, or a rotating dial, or a lightning spark or fire bolt... the list of tactile perceptions extends from physical to metaphysical and goes on and on since it's virtually fully software programmable.
My point is that magic is not easy. Everyday at the office, we have electronics engineers, mechanical engineers, acoustic engineers, software developers, haptics engineers, computer scientists, UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and even physicists and neuroscientists working together to improve and refine this magical experience of contactless haptic feedback. Never before have I been surrounded by such a talented, diverse, multi-skilled and multi-disciplinary group of individuals. We work in teams and sub teams and have frequent cross-team coordination meetings to ensure coherence, knowledge transfer, and that we're progressing according to our roadmaps. We also have internal seminars and collaborate with over 50 universities worldwide.
And then there's Management, who I probably shouldn't be commenting about in a public post. Bottom line is that they have a clear plan that is well communicated to the rest of us in Engineering and Biz Dev and also ensure that we have all the tools and resources needed to execute that plan (and give us lot's of coffee and cake). They're also open and approachable: they have an "ask us anything" and "no blame" kind of attitude.
To summarise and to conclude: great culture, lots of talent, and a clear plan. These are in my view the three main ingredients for Ultrahaptics success and why I love my job.
Are you looking to join a workforce that challenges you? Are you looking to change the world? Are you a multi-talented individual who can work with multi-disciplinary teams? Check out our openings!
Dr Orestis Georgiou.
He is a researcher and an author of over 60 publications in the areas of Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, and Medicine. He is currently the Director of Research at Ultrahaptics Ltd. and aims to expand, explore, and accelerate innovation in mid-air haptic technologies and their applications.