Skin drag displays

dragging a physical tactor across the user’s skin produces a stronger tactile stimulus than vibrotactile

We propose a new type of tactile displays that drag a physical tactor across the skin in 2D. We call this skin drag. We demonstrate how this allows us to communicate geometric shapes or characters to users.The main benefit of our approach is that it simultaneously produces two types of stimuli, i.e., (1) it moves a tactile stimulus across skin locations and (2) it stretches the user’s skin. Skin drag thereby combines the essential stimuli produced by vibrotactile and skin stretch. In our study, skin drag allowed participants to recognize tactile shapes significantly better than a vibrotactile array of comparable size. We present two arm-worn prototype devices that implement our concept.

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