Emerging Technologies

Feel through window: Simultaneous geometry and texture display based on lateral force

Touching through a screen to a displayed object has been one of a goal of human interface. Recently, touchscreen interfaces have become popular worldwide. Moreover, popular consumer electronics devices such as the iPad (Apple Inc.) use a dedicated touchscreen as an interface. However few touchscreens enable reactive tactile signals. Furthermore, none of them provides geometrical shapes and textures simultaneously. Several researchers employ vibrations in order to display texture information. However no systems realize to display geometrical shapes and textures. In this research, we propose a method of feeling both large bumps and small textures simultaneously on a screen. Our method employs lateral force and high frequency (1-10 kHz) direction-controlled vibration. The technology allows not only geometry information to be felt, but also texture information. In addition this technology could be implemented in the other lateral-force-based devices. By employing the technology, our daily life will be more tactile one. It enhances experiences of internet shopping, television programs or telecommunications. You can feel teddy bears, clothes, and even your pets through the screen.

Ramesh Raskar Media Lab, MIT

Satoshi Saga
Tohoku University / Media Lab, MIT