LeTV Tactile Trailers Hit the Mark


Earlier this year, LeTV, one of the top video apps in China, became the first to introduce haptics in movie trailer advertising to Chinese viewers. With the help of Immersion, LeTV launched a new “4D” channel in their Android LeTV app in June, featuring three haptic movie trailers: Expendables 3,” “Spectre” starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, and “Hotel Transylvania 2.”

To get a better understanding of how viewers are responding to this new creative capability, we’ve closely monitored responses on social media, the primary medium for all communications for businesses and consumer outreach in China. From what we’re able to see to date, LeTV “4D” channel was received well by consumers. It created considerable fanfare in the country, with many positive comments from users.

LeTV comments

A snapshot of some of the user comments on Weibo.

While this is only one dimension of feedback from the campaign, positive commentary from users in China can be very telling of the overall sentiment. In China, social media is seen as an official communication medium, comparative to a corporate website.

This positive response reaffirms our belief that video enhanced with tactile effects provides a compelling entertainment experience.

As a designer, tactile video opens a new chapter of content user experiences on mobile devices. The sense of touch can be leveraged in a number of creative ways in future designs and content today. Being from China, my favorite phones for this experience are the Meizu MX4, Samsung Galaxy and Note series handsets. While the experience is good on many other phones, the quality is somewhat limited by capabilities of components and touch software in the phone. Great tactile content is only achievable when great chemistry is created between the hardware, software, and design.

It can be said that video enhanced with tactile effects can be a hard concept to imagine at first, but when users are able to feel the realistic tactile sensations of guns shooting, cartoon characters bouncing, and motors running, it comes as second nature to have tactile effects as a part of the entertainment experience, and users walk away delighted.

Since the launch of the channel in June, LeTV has added a new trailer featuring the “Minions” movie. We expect that as this feature evolves and LeTV continues to market its 4D channel, we’ll be able to bring more meaningful and interesting tactile experiences to consumers.

We’re just getting started.

Rennie Zhang works at Immersion as a UX design generalist focused on the China market.