Home / Blog / Feeling images on your wrist

Feeling images on your wrist

The haptic watch prototype developed at Dartmouth. The presence of an object on the screen, like a marble, is felt on the wrist through a set of moving “taxels”. Credit: Dartmouth University

Seeing is believing, but to have a real feeling sight is not enough. Our brain creates feeling by integrating many signals provided by our senses. Looking at a sweater on a screen is quite different from touching it and appreciating its softness…

Engaging our sense of touch is not easy but researchers have been working to create devices that can provide the sense of touch, known as haptic devices.

At Dartmouth University researchers have developed a (prototype) watch that displays images on its screen (as any other smartwatch) and creates tactile sensation on its back through pressure points on the wrist.

The rear surface of the watch consists of 16 movable squares, taxels, that can move creating a pressure on the wrist. A computer in the watch analyses the image displayed and convert them into pressure stimuli activating micro-servo motors.

They have experimented the tactile stimulation in the context of gaming and the trials indicates an increased engagement of the players thanks to the tactile simulation.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.