As virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality have grown in popularity, the focus has been on how to feel interactions with virtual objects. Various haptic feedback technologies have been developed specifically to give you a sense of tactility when you touch objects in the virtual world. The problem is that they sacrifice that same sense of touch in the real world. Tacttoo is a new “feel-through tattoo” that gives the wearer the ability to feel items in both the virtual world and the real world.
For years now, the goal for virtual reality haptic feedback has been to simply make it feasible. But the devices created for that task, like vibrating controllers and wearable gloves, are bulky and essentially replace your ability to feel the real objects around you. Tacttoo is different, and thin enough that the wearer can still touch real world objects like they normally would. Instead of a thick, rigid interface, Tacttoo devices are thin patches similar to the adhesive portion of Band-Aids.
There are a variety of Tacttoo designs intended to be worn on different parts of the body, such as your forearm or fingertip. But, each design features the same technology. They’re made of a thin, flexible, adhesive material that sticks to your skin. There are circuits integrated into the material that provide electro-tactile stimulus, so that you can feel objects and textures in a virtual world. These wearable patches let users seamlessly switch between touching real world objects and virtual objects, making them far more versatile than traditional haptic feedback devices.