"New MacBook." Photo (CC-BY Maurizio Pesce.

Feel the beat on a Magic Trackpad or MacBook with free tool

Don’t like clicks or beeps or other sounds when using a metronome? Try some haptic feedback instead, with this free utility.

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On Apple Watch, Sound Design Translates into Haptic Feel

You already know sound is something you feel, physically – you know this from the sensation in your head on headphones, from your gut as a PA produces big bass, from the bodily experience of thunderstorms or the siren on an ambulance. But we may soon live in a world where increasingly the role of sound design is wrapped up in interaction – where those sounds can produce physical sensations and haptic interactions. And whether or not the Apple Watch is used by musicians and DJs with new apps, it could add to possibilities for sound designers. Wired has a …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney's Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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From Disneyland to You: Q+A with Creator of Disney’s Air Interaction Aireal

Ideas for interaction have come from many places. But with illusion and immersion a key part of the magic of digital experiences today, maybe it’s about time to take a stroll to Disneyland. Yesterday, we saw the novel idea of using blasts of air to provide physical feedback without requiring touch: Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists Today, Rajinder Sodhi of Disney Research, primary inventor of the tech, answers CDM’s questions about what all of this means. CDM: What other research has gone this direction before? Raj: This research comes from a big …

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Into Thin Air: Disney's Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in the air, you could use actual air for feedback. That’s what researchers from Disney in Pittsburgh, PA propose with their new system Aireal. (Get it? Like the mermaid? Ahem.) The device is a robotic haptic air emitter, bursting short blasts of air called “vortexes.” When …

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Into Thin Air: Disney’s Aireal Vortex Rings Give Tactile Feedback Where None Exists

The bane of wave-your-hands-in-the-air interaction systems is that you can’t feel anything when you use them. Swatting the air with your hands in front of a Kinect, for instance, gives you nothing in tactile resistance – those invisible objects can be seen, but not felt. So what’s the solution? Well, if the interaction is in the air, you could use actual air for feedback. That’s what researchers from Disney in Pittsburgh, PA propose with their new system Aireal. (Get it? Like the mermaid? Ahem.) The device is a robotic haptic air emitter, bursting short blasts of air called “vortexes.” When …

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Grabbing Invisible Sounds with Magical Gloves: Open Gestures, But with Sound and Feel Feedback

You might imagine sound in space, or dream up gestures that traverse unexplored sonic territory. But actually building it is another matter. Kinect – following a long line of computer vision applications and spatial sensors – lets movement and gestures produce sound. The challenge of such instruments has long been that learning to play them is tough without tactile feedback. Thereminists learn their instrument through a the extremely-precise sensing of their instrument and sonic feedback. In AHNE (Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment), sonic feedback is essential, but so, too, is feel. Haptic vibration lets you know as you approach sounds — essential, …

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Touch that Touches Back: Haptic Feedback Could Make Touch Interfaces Better

Making interfaces more transparent … literally, in this clever shot by Steve Roe. Touch and multi-touch interfaces are getting lots of attention, but they pose one major problem: there’s no tactile feedback. Those supposedly “primitive” buttons and knobs and such start to look a lot better when you realize your fingers are used to touching solid objects. All you get from a touchscreen is the sensation of running your finger against an undifferentiated piece of plastic. That was one of my complaints with the multi-touch music interface, Lemur: it just felt physically wrong. As more and more interfaces employing touch …

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