Interactive Vibrotactile Interface

Photo by   Deanna Dent, ASU News.

Photo by Deanna Dent, ASU News.

To provide audiences with a realtime, interactive experience with their own data output, we created an interactive system that represents personal data shed via vibrotactile (vibration, touch-based) feedback. The system includes a vibrotactile stimulator, a smartphone app, and custom server software, which provide users with haptic information about their phone's wireless communication. In some cases, the interface can be worn by audience members, as was presented at the 'Fall Forward' dance concert. In other situations, the interface can be felt through interactive sculptures as in the 'Spark!' festival and the 'Handmade Amplified' exhibition at 4bid gallery. 

Haptics and the Aesthetics of Touch
This particular component is of extreme interest to me and my interest in touch as a means of "affective knowing." Much of our relationships with data and digital information is premised on the notion of information gathering. My question is, what happens when we come to know something affectively and corporeally, rather than cognitively? How does the body play a role in how we understand the intangible, ephemeral world of data? As dance, somatics and body-based practices are also based in the body, fleeting, ephemeral and by their very nature, affective. I am curious how these practices can inform a new aesthetics of touch. More specifically, how can we begin to design aesthetic frameworks for touch-based interaction that are both legible and prelinguistic, felt and understood - even if impossible to put into words. Haptics research and investigations into the aesthetics of touch will continue to be a cornerstone of my research.

For details about the conceptual inspiration and practical design of the vibrotactile interface, please read:

Jessica Rajko, Michael Krzyzaniak, Jacqueline Wernimont, Eileen Standley, Stjepan Rajko, “Touching Data Through Personal Devices: Engaging Somatic Practice and Haptic Design in Felt Experiences of Personal Data,” Proceedings of MOCO’16, 3rd International Symposium on Movement and Computing, ACM Press, Forthcoming, July 2016, Thessaloniki, Greece

Interface Design: Michael Krzyzaniak, Jessica Rajko, Stjepan Rajko, Kruthika Tanikella

The following video provides a brief demo of the mobile phone application available for both Android and Apple smartphones.