Tactile Rendering of 3D Features on Touch Surfaces
In this project, Disney develop and apply a tactile rendering algorithm to simulate rich 3D geometric features (such as bumps, ridges, edges, protrusions, texture etc.) on touch screen surfaces. The underlying hypothesis is that when a finger slides on an object then minute surface variations are sensed by friction-sensitive mechanoreceptors in the skin. Thus, modulating the friction forces between the fingertip and the touch surface would create illusion of surface variations. We propose that the percept of a 3D “bump” is created when local gradients of the virtual bump are mapped to lateral friction forces.
To validate our approach, we used an electro-vibration based friction display to modulate the friction forces between the touch surface and the sliding finger. We first determined a psychophysical relationship between the voltage applied to the display and the subjective strength of friction forces, and then used this function to render friction forces directly proportional to the gradient (slope) of the surface being rendered. In a pair-wise comparison study, we showed that users are at least three times more likely to prefer the proposed slope-model than other commonly used models. Our algorithm is concise, light and easily applicable on static images and video streams.
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Tech company Senseg is developing a similar system.