VisPad Project


A new haptics design for visualizing data is constructed out of commodity massage pads and custom controllers and interfaces to a computer. It is an output device for information that can be transmitted to a user who sits on the pad. Two unique properties of the design are: (a) its large feedback area, and (b) its passive nature, where unlike most current haptics devices, the user's hands are free to work on other things. To test how useful such a device is for visualizing data we added the VisPad interface to our protein structure-alignment program (ProtAlign) and performed usability studies. The studies demonstrated that information could be perceived significantly faster utilizing our multi-modal presentation compared to vision-based graphical visualization alone.


The following papers have been published on VisPad
1. VisPad: A Novel Device for Vibrotactile Force Feedback From the Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems (HAPTICS'04)
2. Feel the information with VisPad: a large area vibrotactile device. From Information Visualization (2004) Volume 3 Number 1, pages 36-48 published by Palgrave Macmillan.


Hardware of VisPad prototype

Mapping ProtAlign to the VisPad Prototype motor location

Demonstration of VisPad at IEEE 2001 in San Diego

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