Haptics adds touch to computers

August 21, 2001 | Source: Wired News

Haptics -– the science of integrating the sense of touch into human/computer interactions — promises to greatly expand the reach of computers into everyday life.
Examples of haptics interfaces shown at SIGGRAPH:

  • A sensing chair that contains tiny vibrators that can send sensations to the person sitting in it. It also contains 4,032 sensors that pick up subtle cues from the person sitting in it. A potentially useful aid to rehabilitation.
  • A sensing vest being tested by NASA in near-zero gravity environments in planes. Pilots in such situations often lose their sense of visual direction, and tactile cues can help orient them.
  • An interface to “manipulate” objects that were projected onto a plastic film
  • A robotic arm to enable users to “feel” resistance between two surfaces whose boundaries couldn’t normally be sensed — such as the boundary between oil and water.