TacTool: a tactile rapid prototyping tool for visual interfaces

D.V. Keyson, H.K. Tang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper describes the TacTool development tool and input device for designing and evaluating visual user interfaces with tactile feedback. TacTool is currently supported by the IPO trackball with force feedback in the x and y directions. The tool is designed to enable both the designer and the user to apply and create tactile fields in a user interface with no knowledge of computer programming. The user works with a set of tactile object fields called TouchCons™ and visual representations to build a graphical interface with tactile feedback. Direct manipulation of objects enables creation of new complex fields which can be used for informational and navigational purposes. For example, the user can use a “path” object to draw a road which can be subsequently felt as a tactile channel, or a “hole” object which contains forces towards the centre of the hole. Tactile fields can be placed while an application is running; for example, a “tactile marker” can be placed to mark a significant point. A pulling force back towards this point can be always active or produced upon request. In addition to tactile feedback, TouchCons™ can provide active movement cues. For example, a “hint” field is used to a create tactile directional cue which is a system-driven ball movement. Tactile information can thus be used to support a two-way communication channel between the system and user.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSymbiosis of Human and Artifact Future Computing and Design for Human-Computer Interaction, Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, (HCI International '95), Tokyo, Japan, July 9-14, 1995
    EditorsY. Anzai, K. Ogawa, H. Mori
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in human factors/ergonomics
    ISSN (Print)0921-2647


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