Disney Research shows off a process it calls “rendering 3D tactile features on touch surfaces.” For the project, the researchers used an electrovibration-based display and a new algorithm developed in-house to allow the human hand to feel the textures of objects as presented on the screen.
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The algorithm maps the frictional forces between the screen and the user’s finger to the surface contours of the virtual 3D image presented on the touchscreen. This dynamic allows the system to adjust to various virtual surface sensations on the fly, rather than offering canned sensations as some tactile touchscreen feedback experiments have demonstrated in the past.
This tactile touch system works on everything from map topographies, animals and any number of 3D-rendered objects.