In this paper we present a prototype using a dry ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) in interactive personal devices such as bracelet, necklace, pocket key chain or mobile devices for haptic interaction when audio or visual feedback is not possible or practical. This prototype interface is an electro-mechanical system that realizes a shape-changing haptic display for information communication. A dry IPMC will change its dimensions due to the electrostatic effect when an electrical potential is provided to them. The IPMC can operate at a lower voltage (less than 2.5V) which is compatible with requirements for personal electrical devices or mobile devices. The prototype consists of the addressable arrays of the IPMCs with different dimensions which are deformable to different shapes with proper handling or customization. 3D printing technology will be used to form supporting parts. Microcontrollers (about 3cm square) from DigiKey will be imbedded into this personal device. An Android based mobile APP will be developed to talk with microcontrollers to control IPMCs. When personal devices receive information signals, the original shape of the prototype will change to another shape related to the specific sender or types of information sources. This interactive prototype can simultaneously realize multiple methods for conveying haptic information such as dimension, force, and texture due to the flexible array design. We conduct several studies of user experience to explore how users’ respond to shape change information.
We present a proof of concept (POC) for haptic interaction when audio or visual feedback is not practical. The POC
includes addressable arrays of two-way Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) springs which can operate at a lower voltage and
temperature compatible with mobile devices. They will form different shapes due to the thermal effect as current travels
through the springs. The POC can simultaneously realize multiple methods for conveying haptic information such as
dimension, force, texture and temperature due to the flexible array design. The haptic interface can go back to the
original shape by itself after the current is off due to the advance of two way SMA. We are developing applications with
different POC designs for tangible interactions.