REVEL is an augmented reality (AR) tactile technology that allows for change to the tactile feeling of real objects by augmenting them with virtual tactile textures using a device worn by the user. Unlike previous attempts to enhance AR environments with haptics, we neither physically actuate objects or use any force- or tactile-feedback devices, nor require users to wear tactile gloves or other apparatus on their hands. Instead, we employ the principle of reverse electrovibration where we inject a weak electrical signal anywhere on the user body creating an oscillating electrical field around the user’s fingers. When sliding his or her fingers on a surface of the object, the user perceives highly distinctive tactile textures augmenting the physical object. By tracking the objects and location of the touch, we associate dynamic tactile sensations to the interaction context. REVEL is built upon our previous work on designing electrovibration-based tactile feedback for touch surfaces [Bau, et al. 2010]. In this paper, we expand tactile interfaces based on electrovibration beyond touch surfaces and bring them into the real world. We demonstrate a broad range of application scenarios where our technology can be used to enhance AR interaction with dynamic and unobtrusive tactile feedback.
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