Vincent Lévesque


Do-It-Yourself Haptics: A Practical Introduction to Haptics for Consumer Electronics

Vincent Lévesque, Karon Maclean

Invited Tutorial, IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), Las Vegas, ICCE, January 2011.

download pdf


What was once accomplished by directly interacting with physically embodied objects, tools and controls is now increasingly performed through abstract, intangible interfaces. The distinct edges, textures and clicks of physical buttons are, for example, gradually being replaced by the blank feel of a touchscreen, with only audio-visual feedback remaining to guide actions. While flexible, these interfaces impose greater attentional demands and do not fully exploit the richness of the sense of touch. Haptic feedback promises to restore natural, direct and responsive interaction to these digital interfaces and to thereby improve their physical esthetics and reduce their reliance on the overloaded senses of vision and audition.

This tutorial assumes no knowledge of haptics and aims not only to provide a broad overview of the topic to consumer electronics practitioners, but also to engage you in a dialogue about the challenges and benefits of integrating this technology in their products. The tutorial will introduce you to current uses of haptics in consumer electronics, the basics of haptic perception in humans, the design and effective use of simple haptic interfaces, and cutting edge haptic interfaces being explored in research labs around the world. It will provide a solid basis for consumer electronics professionals to further investigate this important emerging technology.