SensAble Technologies announced Tuesday the appointment of Curt Rawley as chairman and chief executive of the Woburn, Mass.-based haptics company. Rawley previously served as president and CEO of Synapix, and before that he was president and CEO of Avid Technology. The industry veteran also managed employees at Pixel Computer, Applicon and Digital Equipment.
The appointment comes as Wall Street, e-commerce companies and consumers begin to embrace haptic technology--computer hardware and software that simulates humans' sense of touch and feel through tactile vibrations or force feedback. Haptics--from the Greek verb "to touch"--is still the realm of deep-pocketed research institutions and industrial design shops, but academics say the technology may soon become a mainstream computing phenomenon. In January, the influential MIT Technology Review named haptics one of 10 emerging technologies that will "have a profound impact on the economy and on how we live and work."