Concept and Principle
Natural communication by haptic interaction
We humans rely not only on visual and auditory information but also on haptic interactions, especially in intimate human communication. Recent technologies have led to the development of amazing handheld devices for visual and auditory communication, but most mobile haptic devices seem to be limited to producing simple vibrations for alerts and attention. To realize rich haptic communication with mobile devices, we may need to overcome the limitations of “physics” by deeply investigating human sensation and perception.
Illusions: a peep into human sensory perception
Information from the external world comes into the brain through various sensory organs, but detected sensory signals do not directly represent the external world. Various signals, each carrying “a piece of an external event”, are selected and integrated in the brain to form coherent representations of external events in our perception. Interestingly, because of the nature of sensory detection and processing in the brain, an external event is sometimes misrepresented in our perception, which is called an illusion. Illusions therefore provide important cues for understanding the mechanisms of human sensation and perception.
Asymmetric oscillation producing being-pulled sensation
Buru-Navi exploits the nonlinearity of human haptic perception to induce force sensation. When a small mass in the Buru-Navi device oscillates along a single axis with asymmetric acceleration, a person holding this device typically experiences a kinesthetic illusion characterized by the sensation of being continuously pulled (or pushed) by the device. Although temporal averages of the two opposing forces (a strong and short force in one direction and a weak and long one in the other direction) applied alternately are the same, the holder feels an illusory sensation of being pulled in one direction.
Innovative gadget inspired by brain science
In addition to such human perception characteristics revealed in our research group, we have found that a key point for miniaturizing a haptic gadget, as we’ve done with Buru-Navi 3, is the stimulus optimization for human tactile sensation. Down-sizing a mobile haptic device is not easy because the physical intensity of the vibration decreases with decreasing device size. To overcome this problem, we have focused on the finger tips, under which tactile receptors are densely distributed. With the highly sensitive capacity of receiving rich information from these receptors, the brain can capture the details of tactile interactions with a weak stimulus. Additionally, by carefully designing the pattern of vibration for the tangential motion sensation, we have succeeded in producing a strong sensation of being pulled.
For tugging at your hand and heartstrings
Tactile interactions by means of touching, patting, stroking, pulling, pushing, hitting, and guiding frequently appear in fundamental and intimate relationships in humans and in animals. We therefore believe that tactile sensation is closely connected to emotional and deep communication. We will continue to develop new ‘force display gadgets’ that can strongly tug at your hand and your heartstrings for future telecommunication.
|2006.8||Demo at SIGGRAPH E-tech|
|2007.1||Released Buru-Navi 1|
|2007.2||Demo at NTT R&D Forum 2007 (Buru-Navi)|
|2007.4||Laval Virtual GrandPrix du Jury|
|2008.2||Demo at NTT R&D Forum 2008 (Buru-Navi on a turntable)|
|2008.4||Collaborative project with Kyoto City Fire department: Guiding people with visual impairments in emergency situations
Promotion Program for Fire and Disaster Prevention Technologies, Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Japan
|2008.6||Demo at NTT CS Labs Open house (Buru-Navi2)|
|2009.3||Released Buru-Navi 2|
|2009.6||Demo at NTT CS Labs Open house 2009 (Buru-Navi 2 for Blind people)|
|2010.2||Demo at NTT R&D Forum 2010 (Buru-Navi 2 for Blind people)|
|2011.6||Demo at NTT CS Labs Open house 2011 (Pedestrian navigation by Buru-Navi 2.1 and MoCap)|
|2014.1||Released Buru-Navi 3|
|2014.2||Demo at NTT R&D Forum 2014 (Buru-Navi 3.1 & 3.2, Pedestrian navigation by Buru-Navi 2.1 and AR-marker)|
|2014.6||Demo at NTT CS Labs Open house 2014 (Buru-Navi 3.1 & 3.2, Virtual fishing, Virtual dog-walking)|
|2014.6||Best demonstration award, Eurohaptics 2014 (Buru-Navi 3.1 & 3.2, Virtual fishing )|
|2014.8||Demo at SIGGRAPH E-tech (Buru-Navi 3.1 & 3.2, Virtual fishing, Virtual dog-walking, and Pedestrian navigation)|
|2014.10||Selected as Innovative Technologies 2014 by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
|2014.11||Buru-Navi3 Ideathon at NTTdocomo ventures|
|2014.11||Geo spatial EXPO The 3rd Ichi-mono Gadget & Appli Best Prize (Gadget section)
|2016.5||Released Buru-Navi4 Shell Force (4SF) and Buru-Navi4 Cubic Force (B4CF)|
|2016.6||Demonstration at NTT Communication Science Labs Open House 2016|
|2016.7||Demonstration of B4SF and B4CF at EuroHaptics 2016|
|2016.7||Demonstration of B4SF and B4CF at The Royal Institute ’Science Lives Here’ event, ‘Ri Lates: Touch and go’|
|2017.1||Demonstration of B4SF and B4CF at CES2017 (Consumer Electronics Show)|
|2017.6||Released Buru-Navi4 Finger Force (B4FF) at NTT Communication Science Labs Open House 2017|
|2018.2||Demonstration of Sea-walking, VR fishing, and Navigation with Buru-Navi4 Finger Force (B4FF) at NTT R&D forum 2018|
|2018.4||Demonstration of “Sports haptic viewing” by Buru-Navi4 Finger Force (B4FF) at NicoNico Cho-Kaigi 2018|
|2018.6||Demo & Presentation of “Let’s feel bodily sensation in visual experience with a portable 2-dof force display “ using B4FF at EuroHaptics 2018 Pisa, Italy|
|2018.9||Demonstration of “Sports haptic viewing” by Buru-Navi4 Finger Force (B4FF) at Toward and Beyond 2020 Countdown showcase|
|2018.10||Demonstration of “Flying Dog” with B4FF at ICC sensual infrastructures|
- Asahi newspaper (June 10, 2016), Smartphone becomes clever. Pedestrian navigation by vibration
- Japan International Broadcasting (April 29, 2016) The Wonder of Senses Illusion and Communication
- ETCentric (July 25, 2014) - SIGGRAPH: Haptic Interfaces to Pull and Push Wearable Users
- Eye on the Future (July 25, 2014) - Japanese Researchers Demonstrate "Force Illusions"
- Wearable Tech World (July 24, 2014) - Force Illusions Offer a New Means to Interact With Wearables
- ACM TechNews (July 23, 2014) - Could 'Force Illusions' Help Wearables Catch On?
- EE Times India (July 23, 2014) - Force illusions seen to drive wearables adoption
- Wearable.ai (July 23, 2014) - Wearables Could Benefit From Haptic Feedback
- MIT Technology Review (July 7, 2014) - Could "Force Illusions" Help Wearables Catch On?
- AIP Publishing (July 22, 2014) - News Picks: New handheld devices provide haptic feedback
- Mashable (July 22, 2014) - Haptic Feedback Could Give Wearables a Push (or Pull)