Tactile User Interface

Project Overview

The goal of our project is to begin the development of a new type of user interface that allows the user to employ their sense of touch to perceive images and different shapes. The project involves prototyping a system that can model images in three-dimensional space. The scope of the project requires the implementation of a proof of concept system that demonstrates the feasibility of this new type of user interface.

The solution to this problem has been implemented in three parts:

  • the first is a pipelined system of graphics decoders and processors that calculate pin heights;
  • the second is a microcontroller - the Motorola 68HC12 - that facilitates communication; and
  • the third is an array of pins that can raise and lower themselves in order to render images in three-dimensional space.

Applications of our project involve new gaming interfaces, non-visual computer desktop interaction for the visually impaired and quick modeling systems. This process will enhance the interaction of users with images of textures as well as images of simple surface features.

Presented by Group 61 of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department of Queen's University, Kingston, ON