Project Touch (Tactai Inc.)
haptic feedback interface

May 1, 2015

Imagine being able to feel an article of clothing before you purchase it online or embrace a loved one via webchat. Our team of engineers is currently working to make these ideas into a reality. The project is focused on the development of a small, wireless, wearable devices that captures touch sensations using a proprietary sensor array, through the “sending” unit (below), transmit them, and then replay them using proprietary tactile display technology, through the “receiving” unit across the Internet.

As one of the design engineers on our team, my responsibility is to design and prototype the finger casing that will house our proprietary sensor array while maintaining an aesthetic and ergonomic form factor for the user. This is my sixth iteration in the design of the finger casing.

Our team meets every week to go over progress and next step; this helps keep us ontop of our work and allows us to bounce ideas off another. Below are a few sketches and notes I took during our weekly meeting.

This casing design was dictated by various project requirements:

  • Main PCB (sensing board) needs to fit underneath finger
  • Force-sensing resistors need to be contact with finger tip
  • Accomodate various finger sizes
  • Designed for serviceability
  • Accomodate a camera mount on top
  • Accomodate optical and thermal sensor on the underside
  • Minimize material usage for rapid prototyping purposes

The prototype in the image below was printed on a Projet 6000HD using VisiJet® SL Clear material. It represents my most recent design iteration. In this iteration, the piece went through some significant iterations from previous models. While it meets a great deal of our design criteria, the design has yet to accomodate various finger sizes; granted, this is of least priority since our purpose for this prototype is to house electronics and test for proper function.

The interior of this most recent model is slightly larger, which makes it more modular for various finger sizes. The ventilated front also makes it easier for users to place the finger in the device.