HapticHead - Around-the-head tactile display

HapticHead is a novel around-the-head tactile display which can be used in a variety of applications such as guidance utilizing moving tactile cues, important tactile notifications or immersive Virtual- and Augmented Reality experiences. Developed by the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Hannover, HapticHead is under active development and evaluation as of 2019.


HapticHead can generate moving tactile cues which allow intuitive spatial awareness of nearby virtual or real objects, positions or orientations. This also allows navigating visually impaired people which is an active topic of research.


Applications in Virtual- and Augmented Reality aim to immerse the user in a fully-fletched experience in which a HapticHead display can play a major role in by letting the user feel virtual snowflakes, shockwaves or objects close to their head.


Getting a directional tactile notification directly on the surface of the head in the event of emergency may help save precious time. This kind of notification cannot be missed and is interpreted intuitively, giving the user just that little bit of extra time to react.

Concept for Navigating the Visually Impaired using a Tactile Interface around the Head Oliver Beren Kaul, Michael Rohs Hacking Blind Navigation Workshop at CHI '19
Workshop Paper
3DTactileDraw: A Tactile Pattern Design Interface for Complex Arrangements of Actuators Oliver Beren Kaul, Leonard Hansing, Michael Rohs Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Requirements of Navigation Support Systems for People with Visual Impairments Oliver Beren Kaul, Michael Rohs Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Joint Conference and 2018 International Symposium on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Wearable Computers
Workshop Paper
HapticHead: A Spherical Vibrotactile Grid around the Head for 3D Guidance in Virtual and Augmented Reality Oliver Beren Kaul, Michael Rohs Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '17
Full Paper
Increasing Presence in Virtual Reality with a Vibrotactile Grid Around the Head Oliver Beren Kaul, Kevin Meier, Michael Rohs Human-Computer Interaction -- INTERACT 2017: 16th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Mumbai, India, September 25-29, 2017, Proceedings, Part IV
Short Paper
A high level of presence is an important aspect of immersive virtual reality applications. However, presence is difficult to achieve as it depends on the individual user, immersion capabilities of the system (visual, auditory, and tactile) and the concrete application. We use a vibrotactile grid around the head in order to further increase the level of presence users feel in virtual reality scenes. In a between-groups comparison study the vibrotactile group scored significantly higher in a standardized presence questionnaire compared to the baseline of no tactile feedback. This suggests the proposed prototype as an additional tool to increase the level of presence users feel in virtual reality scenes.
Wearable Head-mounted 3D Tactile Display Application Scenarios Oliver Beren Kaul, Michael Rohs Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct
Workshop Paper
HapticHead: 3D Guidance and Target Acquisition Through a Vibrotactile Grid Oliver Beren Kaul, Michael Rohs Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems

HapticHead is developed by the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Hannover. For additional details see our papers, available in the publications section.

For inquiries, please contact Oliver Beren Kaul - kaul@hci.uni-hannover.de.