SqueezeBlock: Using Virtual Springs in Mobile Devices for Eyes-Free Interaction

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Executive Summary

Haptic feedback provides an additional interaction channel when auditory and visual feedback may not be appropriate. The authors present a novel haptic feedback system that changes its elasticity to convey information for eyes-free interaction. SqueezeBlock is an electro-mechanical system that can realize a virtual spring having a programmatically controlled spring constant. It also allows for additional haptic modalities by altering the Hooke's Law linear-elastic force displacement equation, such as non-linear springs, size changes, and spring length (range of motion) variations. This ability to program arbitrarily spring constants also allows for "Click" and button-like feedback.

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