Schneider, O., Israr, A., and MacLean, K.E., “Tactile Animation by Direct Manipulation of Grid Displays,” in Proc. of Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST), Charlotte, NC, 2015.
Chairs, wearables, and handhelds have become popular sites for spatial tactile display. Visual animators, already expert in using time and space to portray motion, could readily transfer their skills to produce rich haptic sensations if given the right tools. We introduce the tactile animation object, a directly manipulated phantom tactile sensation. This abstraction has two key benefits: 1) efficient, creative, iterative control of spatiotemporal sensations, and 2) the potential to support a variety of tactile grids, including sparse displays. We present Mango, an editing tool for animators, including its rendering pipeline and perceptually-optimized interpolation algorithm for sparse vibrotactile grids. In our evaluation, professional animators found it easy to create a variety of vibrotactile patterns, with both experts and novices preferring the tactile animation object over controlling actuators individually.