“SmartTouch: A new skin layer to touch the non-touchable” by Kajimoto, Inami, Kawakami and Tachi

  • ©Hiroyuki Kajimoto, Masahiko Inami, Naoki Kawakami, and Susumu Tachi

  • ©Hiroyuki Kajimoto, Masahiko Inami, Naoki Kawakami, and Susumu Tachi


Entry Number: 15


    SmartTouch: A new skin layer to touch the non-touchable


Project Affiliation:

    The Unversity of Tokyo


    Our group has been working on the field of haptic AR system [Nojima et al. 2002; Ando et al. 2002], and SmartTouch is a natural extension of these developments. The SmartTouch is composed of a thin electro-tactile display and a sensor mounted on the skin. The sensed information is converted to tactile sensation through electrical stimulation. Thus, the wearer not only can make physical contact with the object, but also “touch” surface information of any modality, even those that are ordinarily non-touchable. The prototype of SmartTouch is composed of two layers. The top layer has a 4 by 4 array of stimulating electrodes on the front side of a thin plate, while the bottom layer has optical sensors on the reverse side of the plate. Visual images captured by the sensor are translated into tactile information, and displayed through electrical stimulation. We endeavored to realize the perception of luminance information as the unevenness of the object surface, by imitating the sensory nerve activity with electrical pulses. For example, the black and white stripes are perceived as bumps of the same interval.

Other Information:


    ANDO, H., MIKI, T., INAMI, M., AND MAEDA, T. 2002. The nail-mounted tactile display for the behavior modeling. In Conference Abstracts and Applications of SIGGRAPH, 264.

    KAJIMOTO, H., KAWAKAMI, N., MAEDA, T., AND TACHI, S. 1999. http://www.ic-at.org. Tactile feeling display using functional electrical stimulation. In Proc. of The 9th Int. Conf. on Artificial reality and Telexistence, 107–114.

    KAJIMOTO, H., INAMI, M., KAWAKAMI, N., AND TACHI, S. 2003. SmartTouch – augmentation of skin sensation with electrocutaneous display. In Proc. 11th Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, Los Angeles.

    NOJIMA, T., SEKIGUCHI, D., INAMI, M., AND TACHI, S. 2002. The smarttool: A system for augmented reality of haptics. In Proc. IEEE VR’2002, 67–72.


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