Flexible Interactions and Devices

This research consists of explorative work on interactions technologies which are especially designed for flexible and deformable form factors. The research activities are divided into two topical areas and tasks: continuous and dynamical audio and tactile feedback in deformation-based interactions, and deformation-based input and output in non-verbal communication and in other implicit interaction applications.

Audio and tactile feedback plays an important role in human computer interaction. They help user to interact with the system in eyes-free manner and can increase the feeling of control. In addition, a careful design of dynamic tactile and audio feedback provide more degrees of freedom in the user interface, e.g. touch and gestures can be coupled with different auditory cues evoking different feelings in the user.

Overall aim of the task is to investigate the role of audio and tactile feedback in deformable interfaces. The device could be deformed e.g. to take a shape of a wristband, a telephone or a media terminal. The form transitions could be coupled with audio and tactile feedback. The feedback could guide the user to reshape the device to intended direction. The aim of the task is to investigate different ways to provide the audio and tactile feedbacks and evaluate the effects of the feedback in terms of e.g. interaction efficiency and emotional acceptance.

In the first phase, a prototype is constructed out of elastic materials, sensors, actuators and control circuitry. Then, explorative work on designing suitable sounds and vibrotactile feedbacks for deformation-based interactions are conducted. Finally, the role of the feedback in the deformable interactions and the overall user experience is evaluated in an experiment, leading into a scientific publication.