Interactive tactile experiences

»Aireal« is a low cost, highly scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid air. »Aireal« enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on full body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device.

»Aireal« is designed to use a vortex, a ring of air that can travel large distances while keeping its shape and speed. When the vortex hits a user’s skin, the low pressure system inside a vortex collapses and imparts a force the user can feel. »Aireal« is a project of the interaction group at Disney Research Pittsburgh.

The »Aireal« technology is almost entirely 3D printed using a 3D printed enclosure, flexible nozzle and a pan and tilt gimbal structure capable of a 75-degree targeting field. Five actuators are mounted around the enclosure which displaces air from the enclosed volume, through the flexible nozzle and into the physical environment.

I joined the »Aireal« project team to design and realize the e-tech demo at SIGGRAPH 2013 in Anaheim.

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