Studio at the 15th ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI)

View the Project on GitHub TactileVision/TactJam-TEI2021


Project details

Wiki (Tutorials)

TEI-Studio 2021



About the Studio

Tactons are vibrotactile patterns used to convey information. Conventionally, a small set of tactons is used on mobile phone or wearables to notify users of messages or emails received. However, tactons have multiple characteristics that one can vary to design a multitude of vibrotactile patterns. In addition, one can place vibrotactile actuators on different body areas to leverage the spatial dimension and the varying skin sensitivity across the body. Prior work proposed methods to design tactons based on musical or engineering knowledge, but hands-on methods remain scarce. For this studio, we adopt a hands-on approach for composing tactons. We leverage a simple instrument-like device that consists of vibrotactile actuators connected to dedicated buttons for designing tactons. While pressing a button, the corresponding actuator vibrates. Users can vary several characteristics of the tactons (e.g., duration and amplitude), and experience them in real time during the design process by placing the actuators on the body. These tactons can then be shared with other participants of the studio. Our goal with this studio is to observe users compose tactons collaboratively using a hands-on device, and better understand how they lay out the vibrotactile actuators on their body and what differences these layouts make in the tactile experience.

TactJam prototype TactJam prototype: using a tangible interface, users can quickly design tactons while experiencing them on their body. (This is an early prototype. The device that participants will receive is much more sophisticated :) )

Important Dates

You can find a detailed schedule of the studio here.

Call for Participation

This studio focuses on designing vibrotactile patterns (tactons) for the whole body. While tactons can be designed with various comprehensive tools, we adopt a more hands-on approach and propose to design them using an instrument-like device we call TactJam. TactJam consists of vibro-tactile actuators fixed on the body and actuated by pressing buttons on the interface. Using TactJam, you can record and play tactons previously designed by themselves or others. Such a device is easy to master and does not require any knowledge of tactile feedback.

This studio is intended for any person interested in designing tactons to be experienced on the whole body. We do not restrict applications from a certain population of the HCI community, but rather hope that many researchers or hobbyists from diverse backgrounds would attend.

The aim of this studio is to organize collaborative ideation sessions focused on the design of tactons. Using the TactJam devices, all attendees will be able to design and feel the tactons they came up with, but also from all others. We hope to generate discussions on various strategies to create such patterns, as well as ideal placement of the actuators on the body based on users’ judgements.

By the end of the studio, attendees will know about tactons and their uses in general. They will have experienced and designed novel vibrotactile patterns using a simple instrument-like device, and would have shared their creative process with others. The authors will keep the library of tactons created and report the results of the ideation sessions on the studio’s website.

For any question regarding the workshop, please contact Dennis Wittchen at dennis.wittchen@htw-dresden.de.


Please send an email to Dennis Wittchen dennis.wittchen@htw-dresden.de to register early for the studio so we can ship a device to you (see email template below). Note, these registrations are non-official. You will need to register to the studio officially at a later time. The approximated cost of the studio is 105€.

subject: TEI2021 TactJam

Aloha Dennis,
I would like to register for the TactJam studio at TEI 2021.
Name: [full name]
Address: [where should we send the device to]