Weart and the sense of touch

Weart and the sense of touch

Weart and the sense of touch

Weart and the sense of touch

Weart and the sense of touch

A ring that transmits the sense of touch from one person to another, even over long distances, or recreates the sensations associated with films, music, videogames or augmented virtual reality. The wearable device is called Weart (Wearable Robotic Technology) and was presented at the CES in Las Vegas, the world’s greatest exhibition dedicated to technology and innovation. Weart allows the wearer to perceive pressure, vibrations and temperature, which combine to reproduce the feeling of touch. The technology was developed in the SIRSLab (Siena Robotics and Systems Lab), the University of Siena’s research laboratory which specialises in robotics and technology connected to handling and the sense of touch, and was developed in partnership with e-Novia through the company of the same name, and which among its founders can count Guido Gioioso, Giovanni Spagnoletti and professor Domenico Pratichizzo, as well as e-Novia, the Enterprises Factory.

“The devices we are developing can be seen as the equivalent of microphones and speakers for the sense of touch. Not only will they allow a user to record their tactile interactions in terms of force, vibrations and changes in temperature while they explore or grasp objects in their surrounding environment, they will also be able to reproduce these sensations, achieving the same process of digitalisation that has already happened for sight and hearing” explained Guido Gioioso, a researcher at SIRSlab. Thanks to these devices, two users who are far away from each other will be able to exchange and share tactile sensations (even during a videocall) which can be added to audio and video sensations, communicating with each other through the sense of touch, which is strongly connected to our emotional sphere. The tactile ‘microphone’ is made of touch sensors: one device registers pressure, roughness and temperature, while the other is equipped with actuators, components that reproduce vibrations, pressure, and changes in temperature directly onto the skin.

“As well as the world of one-to-one communication, this technology is also suited to revolutionary applications in the field of entertainment. Thanks to Weart, tactile sensations will join visual and auditory sensations in improving the experience of cinema-goers, music fans and videogame players”, explained Ivo Boniolo, the Chief Innovation Officer at e-Novia, the Enterprises Factory.