For many people being apart, or in a long distance relationship, means that the only communication you can have is by phone or video chat. For most of us, this is the norm, and few of us would even think of looking for a solution. However, Polish group Pangenerator thinks that the solution is a touch bracelet that transfers sensation from one bracelet to another. As weird as that sounds, they’ve actually made it, and named it Tactilu, short for remote tactile communication.
The Tactilu Bracelet
The first design for the Tactilu bracelet is a somewhat large design with a large metal strip running down the center. The bracelets, which would be available in pairs, communicate touch from one strip to another by converting the touch to an electronic signal, communicating it via Bluetooth to the owners phone, which then sends a signal to the other wearers phone to replicate the touch. While it sounds silly as a technology, the idea is designed to investigate the ramifications and effect of haptic and tactile touch.
Translating a touch from one bracelet to another is no easy feat, but Pangenerator pulls it off using a combination of technology include a top swiping sensor, quantum tunneling composite, and flexinol wire for replicating the touch. The sensors pick up the touch when the pad on the top of the bracelet is first touched, translating it through the quantum tunneling composite to a digital signal, filtering it to the phone, and then replicating it on the other side using the flexinol wire. The whole process is a bit more complicated then that, but that is about the basic idea.
The Tactilu bracelet is being designed to replace a rubber bracelet handed out to people who donate to the Polish Itaka center for missing persons. Because many of the donors to the center for missing persons have missing persons in their own lives, tactile communication is doubly important.
While Pangenerator promises that the next version of the Tactilu will be thinner, lighter, and a lot more aerodynamic, the whole design has more than a few flaws. For example, what happens when you bump your wrist really hard against something, does the person earing the other bracelet get a hard hit from the bracelet? Or does it just replicate a gentle touch. Another flaw is that most people probably don’t want one of these things. After all, it’s use is extremely limited and not really very practical for anything.
Despite this, Pangenerator is still working on a new model, which should hopefully be a bit more cool. The next version should be slimmer, lighter, and feature a cast ceramic top with a slightly better aesthetic.
For now, the Tactilu is sort of useless to most of us, but definitely a cool idea to those in need of a bit of tactile communication. The power of touch is something that most of us forget about in our modern age of ‘communication’, and the Tactilu explores just what it can do when given the chance.