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In the same way "pixel" stands for the smallest element of a picture (picture element, for short pi(ct)el = pixel), we propose similarly "Tacsel", the smallest tangible element of a tactile device (tactile screen element, for short tac + s + el = Tacsel) that allows for a shape-changing tactile device, that means tangible touch screen. In our proposed approach, multiple Tacsels will be integrated into touch screens and will emerge according to the use context. In this way deformable and adaptable properties will provide eyes-free interaction to tactile devices. Several functionalities are envisaged such as providing relief to tactile surfaces, pressing a tactile button without looking at it, improve perception in tactile alarms, transform a tactile surface into a joystick, combining several buttons into a larger button that can be manipulated on the sides, etc. We developed a high-resolution prototype of Tacsel to demonstrate its technical feasibility and its potential within a cockpit context.





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[1]Gómez Jáuregui, D.A., Couture, N., "Tacsel: Shape-Changing Tactile Screen applied for Eyes-Free Interaction in Cockpit", In HSI 2019, INCOSE Human Systems Integration Conference, Biarritz, France, 2019.