MagTics: Flexible and thin form factor magnetic actuators for dynamic and wearable haptic feedback
Paper i proceeding, 2017

We present MagTics, a novel flexible and wearable haptic interface based on magnetically actuated bidirectional tactile pixels (taxels). MagTics' thin form factor and flexibility allows for rich haptic feedback in mobile settings. We propose a novel actuation mechanism based on bistable electromagnetic latching that combines high frame rate and holding force with low energy consumption and a soft and flexible form factor. We overcome limitations of traditional soft actuators by placing several hard actuation cells, driven by flexible printed electronics, in a soft 3D printed case. A novel EM-shielding prevents magnet-magnet interactions and allows for high actuator densities. A prototypical implementation comprising of 4 actuated pins on a 1.7 cm pitch, with 2 mm travel, and generating 160 mN to 200 mN of latching force is used to implement a number of compelling application scenarios including adding haptic and tactile display capabilities to wearable devices, to existing input devices and to provide localized haptic feedback in virtual reality. Finally, we report results of a psychophysical study, conducted to inform future developments and to identify possible application domains.

Wearable computing

Mobile haptics

Tactile displays


Fabrizio Pece

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

Juan Jose Zarate

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Velko Vechev

Student vid Chalmers

Nadine Besse

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Olexandr Gudozhnik

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Herbert Shea

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Otmar Hilliges

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

UIST 2017 - Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology


30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST 2017
Quebec City, Canada,


Annan fysik

Människa-datorinteraktion (interaktionsdesign)

Den kondenserade materiens fysik



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