Disney researchers use electrostatic to create haptic feedback

By on October 9, 2013, 7:15 AM
disney, haptic feedback, electrostatic, tactical feedback

Researchers at Disney have invented a unique method to generate tactical feedback on a smooth glass display – all without physically modifying the screen. Unlike traditional haptic feedback solutions that use a vibrating mechanism, the new method uses electrostatic combined with a slick algorithm to accomplish the same task.

The researchers determined that the sensation one feels when sliding a finger across a bump on a surface was mostly caused by the fingertip being stretched and pulled as it travels over a raised area. This sensation can be created artificially, the Mickey Mouse team found, by using electrovibration to generate electrostatic. This in turn creates friction which is said to feel just as if your finger was coming into contact with a raised area.

Using the aforementioned algorithm, the team is able to generate sensations on-the-fly. For example, an on-screen ball would feel like a gradually curved surface while a stack of DVDs would exhibit a series of bumps as if running your finger across them in real life.

The technology has a lot of potential, especially for those with a visual disability. What’s more, typing or playing a game on your mobile device could become a whole new experience although I’m not so sure how I feel about the idea of constantly getting zapped by my phone or tablet. I imagine its safe or they wouldn’t be looking into it for everyday use, but I digress.




User Comments: 5

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I had no idea Disney had a research division.

avoidz avoidz said:

I'd have to feel myself it to really understand what's being described here.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I'd have to feel myself it to really understand what's being described here.

What I think they're saying here is that displayed objects will feel like they do in real life. If that's what I think they're saying, imagine watching a porno flick.

JC713 JC713 said:

I had no idea Disney had a research division.

Haha yeah, I didnt know either.

This is actually very cool. I cant wait to see this implemented. This is great for the visually impaired being able to use touchscreens.

tonylukac said:

I had no idea Disney had a research division.

Disney essentially had mechanical computers controlling their rides at Disneyland when it opened in 1955 before most computers existed

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