Emerging Technologies

Skeletouch: Transparent Electro-Tactile Display for Mobile Surfaces

Current pervasion of multi-touch interface lightened the importance of tactile cues for direct finger manipulation. As the touch panel does not have physical cues such as bumps and edges of a keyboard, applying tactile display technology to the touch panel was studied intensively. However, most of them have a spatial resolution of about finger size, which can present simple tactile icons, large bumps and textures of virtual material, but not the information of detailed shapes. If the detailed shape can be presented via tactile channel, it will enlarge the potential of multi-touch interface. For example, well-known fat-finger problem will be solved by presenting hidden visual information under the skin onto the skin surface. We will also be able to change the subjective contact size of the finger, which should contribute to relatively precise drawing tasks. In other words, high-resolution tactile display incorporated with visual display will change the mobile device from “viewer” to “stationery”.

Hiroyuki Kajimoto The University of Electro-Communications / Japan Science and Technology Agency