Can you feel that? That rumbling? That’s the feeling of your entertainment evolving.
We’ve talked about DVS before, it’s Entertainment to the Extreme, bringing the tech that’s become prevalent across gaming to music and video – adding a new dimension to how we enjoy content.
We decided we’d speak to some of the team on the front line to give us some more detail, namely: Tokyo-based Uchida Tatsuya and Amano Ryoko, respectively the Device Team Group Leader and Experience Planner behind DVS – together they’ve been working at Sony for almost thirty years.
So, Amano-san, firstly, what exactly is DVS?
Sony’s Dynamic Vibration System or “DVS” analyses what’s happening on the handset in real time and uses dynamic vibration to further connect the user – this synchronized physical feedback adds another dimension to the user experience when playing a movie, listening to music or playing a game.
How does it work?
It’s quite complicated, but in short, the system consists of two important parts; an “original algorithm” developed by Sony and a “unique vibration actuator”. Sony’s Dynamic Vibration System analyses content and generates tactile feedback using the built-in actuator, delivering entertainment with an immersive, intuitive feeling. It differs dependent on the usage too, for example, for games, it vibrates in tune with your actions and what’s happening within the game. For a ringtone, it harmonises with the sound to make it easier to notice.
Where did the idea for a DVS come from? Consumer feedback?
Essentially yes. We often plan and create prototypes based on projected trend data and we see an increasingly growing trend is related to media enhancement. More and more we are looking at how to interact with our entertainment – DVS is a new way to do that.
DVS is part of Xperia’s “Entertainment to the Extreme” offering, what does this mean?
To us, it means using technology to amplify the excitement and emotion that comes from entertainment on Xperia handsets. It’s making entertainment that little bit more entertaining. DVS is unique to Xperia, it’s a unique user experience in handsets such as the XZ2.
Uchida-san, what has changed in terms of design and components that allows you to fit this technology into a smartphone?
Well, as you might expect, the vibrator component needed to be changed to offer haptic feedback with a wider range of sensitivity to match the user’s content. The size of the new component, the LRA (Linear Resonant Actuator), is almost triple that of a conventional vibration unit, the ERM (Eccentric Rotating Mass). So, primarily, the component layout in the smartphone was a big change. The reconfiguration within the phone was really challenging, but of course the engineering team managed it.
How did you test DVS? Hours of video game testing “research”?
We needed to make sure it all worked, so, yes, a number of internal “user tests” were required. We tested music, movies, games etc. As much as this is enjoyable as a job, it’s important research; the results of these tests were reflected in vibration pattern tuning.
Are there any of your favourite games or movies you’d recommend to experience DVS?
Uchida-san: Music videos are great, especially EDM, for me, that’s the most exciting.
Amano-san: Games-wise, I’d have to say Angry Birds Go! That’s a lot of fun. For music, as Uchida-san says, for music, EDM is great, but for music videos, EDM, techno and dance music are all really exciting. Films, I’d go with Sci-Fi/Action.
Amano-san, what does the future hold for DVS – can we expect any feature updates?
Well, I can’t tell you too much, but we are working to enhance and amplify media entertainment and the user experience even further through this technology. Watch this space.
What are you both working on next?
Amano-san: Further media enhancement for our users. We’re always working on, and take great pride in, improving the user experience.
Uchida-san: My team and I are working on innovative new approaches to the all-round entertainment experience… but we can’t say too much!
Thanks to Amano-san and Uchida-san. Right, we’re off to go and watch some EDM videos and play some Angry Birds Go!