Kumiko Kushiyama (JP)
Toshiie Kitazawa (JP)
Shinji Sasada (JP)
Mototsugu Tamura (JP)

Is it possible to feel the temperature of a virtual object? “Thermoesthesia” is a new way to experience the world through the sense of touch.

“Thermoesthesia” features an innovative display that lets visitors feel the different temperatures of a wide array of graphics (from icicles to heat waves) directly through the sense of touch. But this isn’t just a pure touch-and-feel experience; by touching the graphic elements, visitors can interact with them directly.

The surface of the monitor screen displaying the images is warmed and cooled by 80 Peltier modules. A PC controls the electrical circuits feeding current to the modules. The thermographic displays can read out temperatures ranging from 5° to 45° Celsius.

A photosensoric touch-pad system registers the position of the user’s hand via infrared light diodes and thus enables the visitor to actively interact with the thermographic images. The interactive real-time program was written in C and OpenGL-Library.

With the friendly support of PRESTO/JST