A Smart Bracelet Supporting Tactile Communication and Interaction

Stejara Dinulescu, Neeli Tummala, Gregory Reardon, Bharat Dandu, Dustin Goetz, Sven Topp, and Yon Visell (2022)
IEEE Haptics Symposium

🏅 Best Technical Paper Runner Up, 2022 IEEE Haptics Symposium
🏅 Most Promising Work-In-Progress Hon. Mention, 2020 IEEE Haptics Symposium

The sense of touch can convey semantic and emotional information in social or computer-mediated interactions. Touch plays an essential role in communication with individuals affected by multiple sensory loss, many of whom use modes of touch communication that can be broadly described as tactile sign languages. Few technologies exist today to support such interactions. Here, we present a smart bracelet for facilitating tactile communication and interaction. The smart bracelet captures and analyzes vibrations that are elicited in the skin via touch gestures performed on the hand. We demonstrate the utility of this system for supporting communication via the Deafblind Manual alphabet, which is a tactile sign language. This smart bracelet can classify signed letters with greater than 90 % per-letter accuracy. These results show how existing modes of tactile communication can be integrated with information technologies. This work may furnish new paradigms for human-computer interaction via self- and interpersonal-touch contact.

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