Newswise — The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS, President Dr. Ho Seong Lee) is partnering government-funded research institutes and universities to create a hyper-realistic metaverse that can be touched.

On 13th December 2023, KRISS held a signboard hanging ceremony to announce the establishment of the Convergence Research Center for Meta-Touch at its headquarters in Daejeon. The event provided various programs such as progress reports about the Center, gatherings of researchers, a signboard hanging, and visits to research sites. It attracted over 50 key figures, including representatives from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and the National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST).

Supported by the NST, the Convergence Research Center for Meta-Touch will invest 39 billion KRW until 2029 in the development of haptic standards and haptic systems to create a hyper-realistic metaverse. The Center, led by KRISS, with KAIST and ETRI as the main organizers, will carry out five convergence research projects. Participating universities include Sungkyunkwan University, Korea National University of Transportation, Ajou University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Kyung Hee University.

Traditional metaverse environments, focusing on audiovisual technologies, have limitations in enhancing realism and immersion because they do not reflect the physical contact occurring in real life. As an alternative, haptic interfaces, which enable natural interactions in the virtual world, are currently gaining attention as an essential technology for the hyper-realistic metaverse.

The development of devices that can measure and display tactile sensations is still in its early stages compared to auditory devices. Due to the monopoly of fundamental technology for haptic interaction by certain countries, including the United States of America, and the absence of related standards, the game or metaverse creators are developing technologies confined to specific haptic devices. This results in lowering the device compatibility and restricting market entry.

The Convergence Research Center for Meta-Touch aims to address these issues by establishing haptic standards and developing high-performance haptic devices and software. This includes materials and devices of haptic sensor, actuators reproducing hyper-realistic tactile sensations, and rendering technology for hyper-realistic haptic experiences. Their ultimate goal is to organically integrate these technologies to create a combined haptic system that enhances immersion in metaverse and gaming environments.

The Center will operate as a sunset organization, dissolving after achieving its research objectives. Researchers from the 12 participating institutions will collaborate at the KRISS headquarters to maximize research efficiency, and they will return to their respective organizations when the project concludes. 

Dr. Min Seok Kim, the head of the Convergence Research Center for Meta-Touch, said, “By securing fundamental technology for haptic interaction and leading related standard technologies, we will enhance the national competitiveness in the metaverse industry and contribute to the preoccupancy of the haptic market. We aim to achieve outstanding results by cooperating with various industries, universities, and research institutes.”



As a national metrology institute (NMI) of Korea founded in 1975, KRISS (Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science) has developed measurement standards technology and played a pivotal role in upgrading Korea’s main industries to the global level.