Smart films facilitate human-machine interaction

Imagine this: A smooth touchscreen display placed on top of a thin silicone polymer film suddenly generates the feeling of a tiny raised button under the user’s finger. Or how about the idea of wearing that same polymer film like a second skin? If used to line an industrial glove, the film can provide valuable feedback by gesture recognition and by sending tactile signals, such as pulses or vibrations, to the wearer. The research team led by Professor Stefan Seelecke of Saarland University will be at this year’s Hannover Messe, the industrial trade fair running from 30 May to 2 June, where the team will be demonstrating how smart tactile surfaces are now being used as novel human-machine interfaces.

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