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Classification of the existing tactile interfaces based on the
domains of application
Research (tactile sense)
Sensory substitution
Generation of 3D Forms
Figure 10.3 Classification of tactile interfaces according to the domains of application
help to read only the first line of the Braille characters have been presented (Pasquero
et al., 2004).
We can highlight several results and remarks at the end of the state-of-the-art pre-
sented in this chapter. This state-of-the-art presents tactile interfaces according to the
various domains of application. The first observation is that most of the presently
existing tactile interfaces are laboratory prototypes. The diagram of figure 10.3 pro-
vides a percentage representation of the number of tactile interfaces made in each of
the domains of applications, which include: teleoperation 8 , research (physiology and
sense of touch), sensory substitution, 3D form generation and Braille interfaces. We
can observe that the two predominant domains of application are research and tele-
operation with 48% and 27% tactile interfaces respectively. These two domains of
application represent 75% of the manufactured tactile interfaces. Sensory substitution
comes third with a percentage of 15%. 3D form generation represents 5% of the cases.
The research aspect remains predominant in these four domains of application. The
only domain of application in which the manufactured tactile interfaces are marketed
is Braille interfaces for the visually handicapped. They are available in various brands
but they are all based on the same technology and the same modules. The problem
with these interfaces is that their price is too high.
The other important aspect for designing a tactile interface is actuation technology.
According to figure 10.4, the actuation technology that is used most in making tactile
interfaces is electromagnetism representing 40% of the cases. This is because of the
performance and easy control offered by this type of actuators. However, a problem of
overall dimensions limits the aspects of portability and transparency of the device. The
most used technology for commercial applications, most often represented by Braille
8 The domain of teleoperation takes into account majority of the portable tactile interfaces.
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