An exploration of mobile shape-changing textures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


  • Eve Hoggan
  • Yi Ta Hsieh
  • Kalle Myllymaa
  • Vuokko Lantz
  • Johan Kildal
  • Julian Eiler
  • Giulio Jacucci

Research units

  • Aarhus University
  • University of Helsinki
  • Emberion Oy


This paper describes the development and evaluation of Undulating Covers (UnCovers), mobile interfaces that can change their surface texture to transmit information. The Pin Array UnCover incorporates sinusoidal ridges controlled by servomotors, which can change their amplitude and granularity. The Mylar UnCover is a more organic interface that exploits the buckling properties of Mylar, using muscle wires, to change the texture granularity. The results of two user studies show that very low frequency texture changes, using amplitude or granularity, can be distinguished with high levels of accuracy. Since small changes are perceptible, it is possible to incorporate such interfaces into mobile devices without drastically increasing their size or actuation requirements. Finally, ratings from participants indicate that UnCovers would be appropriate for attention-grabbing, or caring and supportive interpersonal messages.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTEI 2017 - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 20 Mar 201723 Mar 2017
Conference number: 11


ConferenceACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
Abbreviated titleTEI

    Research areas

  • Haptic feedback, Mobile Communication, Mylar, Shape Changing Interfaces, Texture.

ID: 17117689