Tactile objects based on an amplitude disturbed diffraction pattern method

Liu, Yuan; Nikolovski, Jean-Pierre; Mechbal, Nazih; Hafez, Moustapha; Vergé, Michel
December 2009
Applied Physics Letters;12/21/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 25, p251904
Academic Journal
Tactile sensing is becoming widely used in human-computer interfaces. Recent advances in acoustic approaches demonstrated the possibilities to transform ordinary solid objects into interactive interfaces. This letter proposes a static finger contact localization process using an amplitude disturbed diffraction pattern method. The localization method is based on the following physical phenomenon: a finger contact modifies the energy distribution of acoustic wave in a solid; these variations depend on the wave frequency and the contact position. The presented method first consists of exciting the object with an acoustic signal with plural frequency components. In a second step, a measured acoustic signal is compared with prerecorded values to deduce the contact position. This position is then used for human-machine interaction (e.g., finger tracking on computer screen). The selection of excitation signals is discussed and a frequency choice criterion based on contrast value is proposed. Tests on a sandwich plate (liquid crystal display screen) prove the simplicity and easiness to apply the process in various solids.


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