What are Surround Haptics and Tactile Brush?
Surround Haptics is a new tactile technology that uses a low-resolution grid of vibrating actuators to create high-resolution, continuous moving tactile strokes on human skin. The user would not feel the discrete buzzes that are common in tactile devices today, but rather a smooth tactile motion, akin to what we feel when someone drags a finger across our skin.
Our technology is based on modeling and controlling tactile illusions, which allow to create virtual, phantom tactile actuators and movements anywhere on an actuator grid. With that, complex tactile trajectories can be created using just a few actuators. Their speed, direction, length, and intensity can be effectively controlled. We called the algorithm implementing such tactile drawing - a Tactile Brush.
There are many applications of Surround Haptics. Imagine a chair that makes you feel bugs crawling on your back as you watch a movie. A motorcycle jacket that lets you feel the traffic around you. A game controller that makes you feel forces and motions in virtual game environments. There are endless possibilities.
Surround Haptics and Tactile Brush in Pictures
Israr, A. and Poupyrev, I. Tactile Brush: Drawing on skin with a tactile grid display. Proceedings of CHI'2011, 2011. ACM: pp. 2019-2028 [PDF].
Israr, A. and Poupyrev, I. Control space of apparent haptic motion. Proceedings of World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2011. IEEE, pp. 457-462 [PDF].
Israr, A., Poupyrev, et al., Surround Haptics: Sending shivers down your spine. SIGGRAPH Conference Abstracts and Applications, Emerging Technologies, 2011: ACM [PDF].
Team and Credits
Surround Haptics fundamental technology was developed in 2010-2011 at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Ali Israr and me. The early set of applications that explored our haptics technology and were reported in our CHI 2011 paper were designed and developed by Jan Stec.
Mark Baskinger, Jason May, Natalia Olbinski and Luke Martin all from CMU School of Design designed and produced custom plywood chair.
Chris Ioffreda, CMU School of Design, designed and produced second version of actuator padding for the chair as well as graphics and illustrations.
Kenny Mitchell and Huw Bowles (both Black Rock Studio, DIS) as well as Neil Hutchinson (Roundcube Entertainment Ltd.) developed haptic integration of Surround Haptics with Split Second simulation driving game.
Video production is by Karl Willis (Disney Research, Pittsburgh) and Jim Cox (Black Rock Studio, DIS).