Vibrotactile wristband for information output

VibroTac (vibrotactile wristband for information output) and VibroTac S (equipped with additional sensors for detecting objects in the user’s immediate environment).

The VibroTac is an innovative wristband that uses vibration to communicate a wide range of information to humans. Several elastically interconnected vibrating modules – with signal paths that allow them to be separately controlled – generate stimulation patterns that can be unambiguously interpreted by the user. This enables intuitively comprehensible location and direction information.

The patented concept allows the wristband to be used ergonomically, with different arm diameters, while the wireless communications interface and the rechargeable battery enable unrestricted freedom of movement. The range of functions, and thus the versatile applications of the device, have been extended by the integration of distance sensors for the detection of obstacles within the user’s immediate environment. The special feature here is the simultaneous detection of several areas in different directions, as well as the intuitive feedback of the distance and direction of detected objects. As such, the vibrotactile  VibroTac S sensor wristband can be used as an electronic aid to guide the blind and visually impaired, and assist them in their day-to-day lives, for instance. This system can prevent more collisions and injuries than the classic cane, which is not suitable for detecting obstacles at head or chest height (e.g. open windows or low-hanging branches).

User studies of different applications – such as force and collision feedback from virtual-reality programs and telerobotics; directing awareness in complex work areas; innovative training concepts with Augmented Reality; navigational applications; and assistance for the visually impaired – attest to the successful use of the patented device.

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Thorben Andersen · E-Mail: ·