Haptics device creates realistic virtual textures

Tactile sensation is an incredibly important part of how humans perceive their reality. Haptics or devices that can produce extremely specific vibrations that can mimic the sensation of touch are a way to bring that third sense to life. However, as far as haptics have come, humans are incredibly particular about whether or not something feels ‘right,’ and virtual textures don’t always hit the mark. Now, researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a new method for computers to achieve that true texture — with the help of human beings. Called a preference-driven model, the framework uses our ability to distinguish between the details of certain textures as a tool in order to give these virtual counterparts a tune-up.