TeslaTouch: Electrovibration for Touch Surfaces
TeslaTouch infuses finger-driven interfaces with physical feedback. The technology is based on the electrovibration principle, which can programmatically vary the electrostatic friction between fingers and a touch panel. Importantly, there are no moving parts, unlike most tactile feedback technologies, which typically employ mechanical actuators. This allows for different fingers to feel different sensations. When combined with an interactive graphical display, TeslaTouch enables the design of a wide variety of interfaces that allow the user to feel virtual elements through touch. For example, when dragging a file, the level of friction could convey the file size. Objects could "snap" into place when designing a presentation. Or perhaps with a quick "rub" of your email application's icon, you could sense how many emails are unread. Finally, imagine a (flat) touch keyboard where the virtual keys can be felt.
Research Team: Olivier Bau, Ivan Poupyrev, Ali Israr, Chris Harrison
Awards: Best Demo Award at World Haptics 2011 Conference.
Olivier Bau, Ivan Poupyrev, Ali Israr, and Chris Harrison. 2010. TeslaTouch: electrovibration for touch surfaces. In Proceedings of the 23rd annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '10). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 283–292. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/1866029.1866074