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Optimal skin impedance promotes perception of ultrasonic switches

Abstract : Ultrasonic friction reduction is one potential technology for bringing tangibility to flat touchscreens. We previously established that this approach can be used to create an artificial sensation of pressing a mechanical switch by varying the coefficient of friction, which depends on the force applied by the user. This sensation proves effective majority of, but a non-negligible fraction reported feeling only weak sensations or none at all. In the present study, we examined the factors possibly involved in producing a vivid perception of a stimulus by measuring the mechanical impedance of the fingertip as an index to the frictional behavior, and performing psychophysical experiments. Subjects who experienced weaker sensations were found to have a weaker susceptibility to friction modulation, which may in turn be attributable to either a larger or a smaller than average/normal impedance; whereas those with a mechanical impedance of around 55 N.s/m clearly perceived the ultrasonic switch. Measuring and factoring the users impedance in real time could therefore provide a useful means of improving the rendering of ultrasonic surface haptic devices.
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Contributor : Christophe Bourdin <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 7:11:46 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 5:28:03 PM




Jocelyn Monnoyer, Emmanuelle Diaz, Christophe Bourdin, Michael Wiertlewski. Optimal skin impedance promotes perception of ultrasonic switches. World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2017 IEEE, Jun 2017, Munich, Germany. ⟨10.1109/WHC.2017.7989889⟩. ⟨hal-01587277⟩



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