Touchscreens have revolutionized how we provide information to computers, but they provide little physical feedback. As part of the first haptics Student Innovation Challenge, we set out to find how touchscreens can feel with a drawing application.

We used the TPad Phone, which vibrates its screen at high-frequencies to programmatically change friction. We looked at several mark-making interaction techniques including:

  • Paintbrush, where you feel paint leaving your finger,
  • Pen and eraser, based on real-world writing utensils,
  • Spray paint, where you feel the roughness of the paint on the screen as you spray,
  • Pinch/zoom, inspired by compressing and stretching rubber, and
  • Feel finger, the ability to feel your drawing on the paper.

We explored these designed for both fingers and styluses in a drawing application, RoughSketch, implemented in Android using the TPad API. Our app won first place in the design challenge, competing against top applications from other finalist teams.


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