hiddenTouch – vibration enriched telecommunication

hiddenTouch – Bachelor Project by Martin Feigel

Of all the human senses, touch is perhaps the most pervasive. In the mobile electronics industry, vibration functions are usually limited to the rudimentary “on/off” dichotomy. Consequently, in mobile interface interaction, touch has not been utilized to its full potential. Touch and movement are often used for nonverbal communication. But how can it enrich telecommunication?

This project presents three different haptic interaction experiences. The “Sense” mode enables one to perceive the movements of someone else with another mobile device. The “Hapticon” mode sends and receives haptic emoticons. And the “Secret Language” mode communicates letters and words through vibration.

In “Sense” mode different vibrations patterns are generated by inclining and rotating the phone and exchanged in real time. The “Hapticon” mode allows the user to send visual emoticons which will be felt by the receiver as recognizable vibration patterns. “Secret Language” utilizes hand orientation and finger positions to compose words that are encoded into vibrations, allowing users to communicate silently.

Added Value / Future Potential
The goals are (1) To provide a private sphere of telecommunication in which direct and personal contact replaces visual and audio information. (2) To create instant, haptic communication, and/or an entire “secret” language, which can be useful in discrete situations. (3) To enhance or complement the visual and auditory senses, and (4) To reach send and receive messages without having to look at a display.

Karmen Franinovic
Max Rheiner
Martin Feigel


Max is used as the core application.
C74 is used on the iPhone as app-client.
Ableton live is used for vibration design.

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