Disney Research is integrating phantom sensations and other tactile illusions to applications in communication systems for the blind, movies, music and games.
Disney Research is advancing the game and movie experience through tactile motion sensation. This new sensory feedback derives from a low resolution grid of inexpensive vibrating actuators, similar to the cellphone buzzers, but instead is distributed across the body to tap into the nervous system. Researchers have built up clever vibrator actuation algorithms, based on research into “psychophysical modeling of tactile illusions” to send signals to the vibrators that can generate sensations even on parts of the body where there’s no vibrator. Dubbed ‘Surround Haptics,’ the phantom sensations and other tactile illusions can have applications in communication systems for the blind, as well as in movies, music and games. The technology will be incorporated into a driving simulator game, unveiling next week at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver.