Emerging Technologies

Traxion: A Tactile Interaction Device With Virtual Force Sensation

Introducing a new mechanism to induce a virtual force based on human illusory sensations. An asymmetric signal is applied to a tactile actuator so that the user feels that the device is being pulled (or pushed) in a particular direction, although it is not supported by any mechanical connection to other objects or the ground. The tactile device is significantly smaller and lighter than any previous force- feedback devices. This small form factor allows the device to be implemented in several novel interactive applications, such as a pedestrian guide system that includes a finger-mounted tactile device or an (untethered) input device that features virtual force. Experimental results indicate that this illusory sensation actually exists, and the proposed device can quickly switch the virtual force direction.

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Jun Rekimoto
The University of Tokyo