The Vibropixels: A Scalable Wireless Tactile Display System




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Ian Hattwick, Ivan Franco, Marcelo M. Wanderley


This paper presents a wearable, wireless tactile display system which consists of individually controllable vibrotactile actuator devices, called Vibropixels. The design of the system is easily scalable and reconfigurable, allowing for implementation in a variety of applications. The system removes any limit on the number of actuator devices by avoiding both hand-shaking and packet acknowledgement functionality. The number of control messages required is minimized through the use of a exible two-part addressing scheme as well as functions allowing for the generation of multiple actuator envelopes on the devices. Created within an interdisciplinary art-science research project, 145 Vibropixels were utilized in the premier of the artistic installation Haptic Field. Recognizing that the artistic creation process often involves utilizing systems beyond their intended application, we designed our system to allow our collaborators to interact with and potentially modify the system on a hardware, firmware, or software level. Through interviews with our collaborators, we evaluated our system’s ability to support the artistic creation process in light of Shneiderman’s principles for creativity support tools. While our collaborators mostly used and modified the highest level software tools provided to them, we argue that supporting lower level modifications may still be useful depending upon available time and the knowledge of the user.

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Conference Paper

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Springer, Cham

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