Springlets: Expressive, Flexible and Silent On-Skin Tactile Interfaces

The first haptic interfaces to generate force and stretch feedback on the body in a skin-conformable form factor.

Description

Springlets use a single type of actuator, soft and silent shape memory alloy springs (SMAs), to create a wide range of sensations on the skin in a highly wearable and customizable form factor.  They use the simple contraction-expansion actuation of SMAs to stretch the skin or move and transform haptic objects on the skin surface. As a result, in our paper, we show how to build Springlets that apply tensile, normal, and tangential forces on the skin, creating sensations such as stretch, press, pull, drag, and expand. 

Springlets' soft and thin form factor allows them to be worn on soft and curved body locations, thanks to their silent operation, even near the head. Springlets can be cut into any shape or size, they can be combined in a single interface, and digitally controlled to generate spatial sensations of various force profiles. They may also contain haptic objects of different textures (fluffy or tacky) and shape changing properties.

Unlike vibrotactile output, Springlets provide smooth yet powerful and silent sensations that mimic the natural forces and movements of touch gestures on the skin. This allows for a range of novel applications for mediated social communication, accessible user interfaces, mindful and affective applications, and virtual reality experiences.


Received Best Paper Honourable Mention Award at CHI 2019. 

Quick Links

Paper and Demo (CHI 19)
Video
Poster and Postcard
On RWTH website
Project folder [Internal Access]
Funding project: 3DCC
Contact: Nur Hamdan Adrian Wagner

Authors

Build A Springlet

Build your own Springlet in 15 min. and under $6! Watch the instructional video.

Materials and tools

 

Publications

    2019

  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker, Jürgen Steimle and Jan Borchers. Demonstration of Springlets: Expressive, Flexible and Silent On-Skin Tactile Interfaces.  In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker, Jürgen Steimle and Jan Borchers. Springlets: Expressive, Flexible and Silent On-Skin Tactile Interfaces.  In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2018

  • Vyacheslav Kryvosheya. Haptic Stickers: Thin, Flexible On-Skin. Masters's Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, February 2018.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry

Attachments:
FileDescriptionFile sizeDownloadsLast modified
Download this file (A6 CHI19 Postcard - Springlets.pdf)A6 CHI19 Postcard - Springlets.pdf 10639 kB642019-06-05 13:53
Download this file (A1 3DCC Poster - Springlets.pdf)A1 3DCC Poster - Springlets.pdf 14142 kB802019-06-05 13:53
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