Wearable Tactile Displays

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Wearable tech is getting more and more common. Researchers at the Sungkyunkwan University in Korea and the University of Nevada (US) have developed a flexible tactile display that could be part of our clothing enabling us a more physical interaction with our electronic devices without relying on the visuals only. Ig Mo Koo, Hyouk Ryeol Choi, and co-authors from Sungkyunkwan University and the University of Nevada created an electro active polymer that can stimulate the skin without using any additional electromechanical transmission. The polymer sheet which consists of eight layers of dielectric elastomer actuator films is about 210 micrometers thick.
Wearable Tactile Display
The researchers fabricated an 11 x 14 mm sheet, rolled it up in the shape of a thimble to be worn on the finger with Velcro on the edges. The display conveys information to the wearer when the electrodes induce a voltage across the films. A voltage causes the films to compress down and expand outward. In doing so, the films put pressure on the wearer’s skin, inducing a “mild sensation.” Although only a concept, this wearable tech could prove to be a useful interface in the near future.