Tactile Virtual Reality. Tactile Technique and Applications

Tactile Virtual Reality

Tactile Virtual Reality. Tactile Technique and Applications


Tactile Virtual Reality (VR) technology allows users to experience and create immersive and dynamic virtual environments by combining their visual and audio senses. 

This realm, on the other hand, lacks the sense of touch, isolating the user in a computer-generated world. Buildings, on the other hand, utilize tactile materials to enhance the spatial experience within these spaces, despite the fact that architecture has rarely been dynamic or interactive.

The project ‘Tactile VR’ mixes these two realities to investigate the concept of tangible data. 

Users can interact with a new sort of architectural space through the installation, in which the tactility of physical architecture is combined with dynamic digital spatial configuration.

Tactile texture perception is usually an active process, in which animals move certain body parts across a surface (for example, a fingertip in humans or whiskers in rodents) to generate dynamically changing tactile stimuli. In other words, active tactile sensing combines two processes: (a) carefully controlled sensory surface movements, and (b) detection of emergent tactile sensations. Despite the ecological importance of tactile sensing’s active component, most research and clinical examinations focus on passive sensing, in which tactile stimuli are presented to a stationary finger. Recent human investigations reveal a complicated relationship between motor processing and the somatosensory system, despite the fact that passive touch experiments are relatively easier to execute and high-precision controlled stimulation is possible. As an example,

Mechanical Touch Sensing Types

Mechanoreceptors govern human sensing of mechanical loading in the skin. Mechanoreceptors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but those found in the finger pad are usually divided into two groups.

 Slow acting (SA) and fast acting (FA) (SA). FA mechanoreceptors are sensitive to lesser strains at higher frequencies, whereas SA mechanoreceptors are sensitive to relatively large stresses at low frequencies. 

As a result, SA sensors can detect textures with amplitudes more than 200 micrometres down to about 1 micrometre, while FA sensors can detect textures with amplitudes less than 200 micrometres down to about 1 micrometre. According to certain studies, FA can only identify textures that are smaller than the wavelength of a fingerprint.

Tactile Virtual Reality was used as a method.

The virtual tactile reality system was custom-built (MEG Center, University of Tübingen, Germany) and consists of five components (Figures 1A,C): a stimulation computer running Linux, a standard 400 x 325 mm 4-wire resistive touchpad (KEYTEC KTT-191LAM, Garland, TX, USA),

 a touchpad control unit (in-house built), 

a piezo-electric control unit (in-house built), and a scanning probe The scanning probe is made up of two sets of piezo-electric Braille elements (Metec AG, Stuttgart, Germany), each with a four-by-two-piston matrix.

The spatial pattern of tactile stimulation supplied to the fingertip is determined by the position of the scanning probe on the touchpad (see Figure 2 for command flow). We determine the position by using a conventional four-wire resistive touchpad as a virtual surface.

We determine the position of the scanning probe by using a conventional four-wire resistive touchpad as a virtual surface. The touchpad employs a 50 mV input voltage instead of the typical 5 V supply voltage; this lower voltage minimises the current in the touchpad, which eliminates MEG artefacts and protects the MEG sensors from failing.

Tactility Virtual Reality-inducing techniques

We could address this problem in a variety of ways, but I think it’s helpful to divide them into three modalities:

  1. Object-driven
  2. Peripheral Sensation
  3. Central simulation

I’ll go into the theory behind each one, as well as some recent examples.

Objective driven

The term “object driven” refers to the use of real-world items to which the Tactile Virtual Reality object is mapped. This is by far the simplest method for generating tactility in a virtual reality environment. Some may mistake this for augmented reality, but it is actually the polar opposite, prompting some to coin the term “augmented virtuality.”

Users engage with real world objects, such as a ball, by tracking them and mapping them to a virtual object of the same size. They feel as though they are interacting with whatever thing is projected into their virtual reality.

Peripheral Sensation

With the modality of peripheral experience, we begin to stray into science fiction, as opposed to object-driven. To begin with, what I mean by peripheral feeling is true sensation that does not circumvent the user’s peripheral nerve system and does not require the creation of real-world objects.

The ‘Haptic suit’ from the film Ready Player One is comparable to this concept. The haptic suit delivers input to the user based on virtual world experiences. The Teslasuit is an early attempt at this suit (nothing to do with the electric car company).

Central simulation

As I begin to examine core simulation, I must emphasise that we are entering the realms of science fiction, though I will strive to maintain it founded in scientific reality.

Let’s start with some science. The peripheral and central nervous systems make up the human nervous system. All of the nerves that connect your peripherals to your central nervous system are known as the peripheral nervous system. The brain and spinal cord make up your central nervous system.

Central simulation is the method of influencing the central nervous system directly to recreate experiences for the patient, bypassing the peripheral nervous system totally.

Applications OF  Tactile Virtual Reality


Haptic feedback technology is utilised in automobile dashboards with big touchscreen control panels to provide confirmation of touch commands without requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road.

Additional contact surfaces, such as the steering wheel or seat, can convey haptic information to the driver, such as a warning vibration pattern when the car is approaching another vehicle.


Virtual arts such as music synthesis, graphic design, and animation have all experimented with haptic technologies.

 In the Tate Sensorium display in 2015, haptic technology was employed to augment existing art pieces.  Teenage Engineering, a Swedish synthesiser company, recently released a haptic subwoofer module for its OP-Z synthesiser, allowing performers to feel bottom frequencies directly on their instrument.

Aviation Force-feedback can be utilized to promote adherence to a safe flight envelope, reducing the risk of pilots flying in dangerous conditions outside of operational borders while keeping the pilots’ final authority and boosting situation awareness. 

Dentistry and medicine

Medical simulations using haptic interfaces are being created for teaching in minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopy and interventional radiology, as well as for dental students.

Virtual Haptic

At Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, a Virtual Haptic Back (VHB) was effectively integrated into the curriculum.  Haptic technology has paved the way for telepresence surgery, which allows expert surgeons to operate on patients from afar. The surgeon feels tactile and resistive feedback as they make an incision as if they were operating directly on the patient.


Tactile Virtual Reality Haptics, which bring the sense of touch to previously visual-only interfaces, are gaining mainstream adoption as a major component of virtual reality systems.  Haptic interfaces are being developed for 3D modeling and design, including systems that allow holograms to be seen and felt. A number of businesses are developing full-body or torso haptic vests or haptic suits for use in immersive virtual reality, allowing users to experience explosions and gunshot strikes.

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