Conference 5–9 August 2012
Exhibition 7–9 August 2012
Los Angeles Convention Center

TECHTILE Toolkit

Los Angeles Convention Center, Concourse Foyer

TECHTILE is a fundamental concept that combines “TECHnology” with “tacTILE” perception and expression. Its aim is to establish haptic technologies as the third medium in the fields of art, design, and education, and extend the conventional definition of multimedia. Many haptic devices have been proposed, but most of them are still in the emerging stages of development. To attract the interest of potential users of haptics such as designers, educators, and students, it is necessary to provide easy-to-make and easy-to-use haptic devices. The TECHTILE Toolkit is an introductory haptic rapid-prototyping device that fulfills this requirement.

The current prototype is composed of a haptic recorder (microphone), some haptic reactors (small vibrators), and a signal amplifier optimized to present not only a zone of audibility (20-20,000 Hz), but also low -requency (1-20 Hz) vibration. Although the toolkit is intuitive to use and inexpensive, it can deliver highly realistic haptic sensations. For example, if you want to deliver the haptic sensation of glass balls in a cup, you simply need to use Scotch tape to attach the haptic recorder to the bottom of a paper-cup and the haptic reactor on the bottom of another cup. Then when you drop balls in the cup with the haptic recorder, the haptic sense of collision and rotation of balls is copied to another cup in real time. It is also possible to record the haptic signal in the audio track of an mpeg4 movie through the USB port of the toolkit and play it back with video and sound, so users can upload original haptic content on YouTube or Skype or Ustream to share the haptic sensation worldwide.

Kouta Minamizawa
Keio University

Yasuaki Kakehi
Keio University

Masashi Nakatani
Keio University

Soichiro Mihara
Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media

Susumu Tachi
Keio University