Co-author: Yukang Yan, Darren Edge, Hong Z. Tan, Yuanchun Shi and Ed Colgate

My contribution:

  • Circuit (tactors controlling) design, assembling and debugging.
  • Software modification.

We present a wearable prototype combining an electrostatic interface with four tactors worn around the wrist. This combination allows users to feel the approximate time in situations where glancing might not be appropriate, such as when in a meeting or giving a presentation. Users can also elect to receive notifications for scheduled events or at regular time intervals throughout the day.

Driving circuit
The driver for the electrostatic display and tactors.

Electrostatic display
The electrostatic display on the upper surface allows users to “pull” information at any time. The system provides relative information such as time elapsed by adjusting the extent of high and low friction areas along the length of the display.

Tactors around the wrist
Four tactors are arranged around the wrist, each controlled individually. We use the relative position of the signal generated by the tactors and electrostatic display to notify the user of certain timing milestones. We also use the cutaneous saltatory effect to generate vibration patterns that could be used to announce the time, e.g., every half hour.

This project is presented as a Demo in the IEEE World Haptics Conference 2015.

System block diagram
System block diagram

Early prototypes:

Up: tactors and their control unit.
Down: enclosed with leather (hand made)