Tactile echoes: multisensory augmented reality for the hand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Anzu Kawazoe
  • Gregory Reardon
  • Erin Woo
  • Max Di Luca
  • Yon Visell

Colleges, School and Institutes


Touch interactions are central to many human activities, but there are few technologies for computationally augmenting free-hand haptic interactions with real environments. Here, we describe Tactile Echoes, a wearable system for augmenting touch interactions with physical objects. This system captures and processes touch-elicited vibrations in the skin in real-time in order to enliven tactile experiences. We process these signals via a parametric signal processing network in order to generate responsive tactile and auditory feedback. The echoes also reflect the contact interactions and touched objects involved. We also demonstrate computational methods that allow these effects to be selectively assigned to different objects or actions. A large variety of distinct multisensory effects can be designed via ten processing parameters. We investigated how Tactile Echoes are perceived in several perceptual experiments using multidimensional scaling methods. This allowed us to deduce low-dimensional, semantically grounded perceptual descriptions. We describe several virtual and augmented reality applications of Tactile Echoes. In a user study, we found that these effects made interactions more responsive and engaging. Our findings show how to endow a large variety of touch interactions with expressive multisensory effects.

Bibliographic note

Publisher Copyright: IEEE


Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Early online date26 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2021


  • Augmented reality, Haptic interfaces, Manuals, Skin, Surface treatment, Tactile augmented reality, Tactile sensors, Vibrations, haptic rendering, multisensory feedback, wearable haptics