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Title: A wireless haptic interface for programmable patterns of touch across large areas of the skin
Haptic interfaces can be used to add sensations of touch to virtual and augmented reality experiences. Soft, flexible devices that deliver spatiotemporal patterns of touch across the body, potentially with full-body coverage, are of particular interest for a range of applications in medicine, sports and gaming. Here we report a wireless haptic interface of this type, with the ability to display vibro-tactile patterns across large areas of the skin in single units or through a wirelessly coordinated collection of them. The lightweight and flexible designs of these systems incorporate arrays of vibro-haptic actuators at a density of 0.73 actuators per square centimetre, which exceeds the two-point discrimination threshold for mechanical sensation on the skin across nearly all the regions of the body except the hands and face. A range of vibrant sensations and information content can be passed to mechanoreceptors in the skin via time-dependent patterns and amplitudes of actuation controlled through the pressure-sensitive touchscreens of smart devices, in real-time with negligible latency. We show that this technology can be used to convey navigation instructions, to translate musical tracks into tactile patterns and to support sensory replacement feedback for the control of robotic prosthetics.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Springer Nature
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Electronics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
374 to 385
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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