Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Researchers show off flexible, band-aid-sized tactile display

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/308913874/

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We've seen tactile displays of all shapes and sizes, but none quite like this latest creation from a group of researchers at Korea's Sungkyunkwan University and the University of Nevada, which promises to be at your disposal whenever you need it. That's possible thanks to the electroactive polymer material the display is based on, which consists of eight layers of tiny actuator films that have been sprayed with electrodes in a specific pattern, allowing the skin to be stimulated without any additional electromechanical transmission. In addition to making it possible to wrap the display around your finger like a band-aid, that also makes the system extremely power efficient and, apparently, cost effective and easy to manufacture. As with other tactile displays, the researchers say this one could be especially useful as a braille display for the blind, although they don't see any shortage of other potential applications, with them foreseeing it being used in everything from virtual keyboards to tele-surgical gloves.
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