FingerTac is a novel concept for a wearable thimble for augmented haptic applications, in which both real and virtual objects can be touched and interacted with. What makes the device unique is that it combines augmented-haptics technology for the first time in a wearable, lightweight device.
FingerTac was first published in 2020.
Is there a haptic technology that allows you to feel virtual objects without being impeded when interacting with real-world objects? FingerTac is one of the first wearable haptic devices that amalgamates virtual tactile feedback on the finger with real-world interactions. This is achieved by inducing vibrational feedback at both sides of a finger and making use of the limited spatial discrimination capabilities of vibrotactile stimuli at the skin. Thus, our device generates perceived vibration in-between the two contact areas where the stimuli are applied. As the bottom of the finger is kept free of obstruction, FingerTac allows to touch real and virtual objects at the same time.
Similar to augmented reality glasses, which visually enrich the image of the real world, the FingerTac can also influence haptic perception when touching real objects and convey additional information tactilely. As a result, it can also enable humans to experience physical phenomena tactilely that would otherwise not be directly perceptible with our senses (for example, magnetic fields, electrical voltage and current, radiation).
FingerTac was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) as part of Germany's Excellence Strategy - EXC 2050/1 - Project ID 390696704 - Cluster of Excellence "Centre for Tactile Internet with Humanin-the-Loop" (CeTI) of Technische Universität Dresden.
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
The FingerTac can generate tactile feedback while its wearer interacts with physical objects - this is called augmented haptic feedback. The photo shows an early research demonstrator of the FingerTac from 2021.
Close-up of the FingerTac demonstrator from 2020. Two transmission elements transfer the vibrations of the actuators to the underside of the fingertip.
The FingerTac on the index finger of a flat hand