July 23, 2016

HapticWave: Directional Surface Vibrations using Wave-Field Synthesis


By: Ravish Mehra, Chris Clock, David Perek, Elia Gatti, Riccardo DeSalvo, Sean Keller


HapticWave is a novel haptic technology that delivers directional haptic sensations generated on a flat surface to the user, without requiring him/her to wear a physical device. Combined with virtual reality display and head-tracked spatial audio, HapticWave enables the user to perceive direction, distance and intensity of events generated by a virtual object as it interacts with other objects in the virtual environment (table, floor, etc.). HapticWave is based on the physical principles of thin plate vibration and wave-field synthesis and uses these concepts to generate directional surface vibrations on a flat surface. This technology scales linearly with the dimension of the surface (rather than the surface area) enabling a scalable, inexpensive and a practical surface haptic technology. HapticWave has a broad range of applications in many fields, including tabletop gaming, multi-user collaboration, enhancing movie experience, and tactile perception research among many others. In this paper, we present the details of the HapticWave system including the design, assembly and control, system calibration and experimental results along with the design vocabulary and applications associated with surface haptic technology.