The goal of this project is to integrate a visual representation of virtual textiles with a haptic/tactile interface, thus allowing the user to have the sensation of feeling the virtual garment. Both the visual simulation and the haptic rendering are based on the actual physical properties of the simulated textile, taken from specific measurements on real textiles. This makes it possible for the user to identify different kind of fabrics. The achievement of the final goal of creating full haptic interaction with real-time animated textiles will facilitate the future realisation of such multimodal frameworks, featuring haptic interaction with any kind of virtual objects.
In order to integrate the visual and haptic/tactile interfaces, there are several significant advances in existing technology which are necessary to achieve the complete virtual experience of a physical object. The main research issues are:
Our research is of a long-term nature and involves particularly high risks, as there are still many issues to be solved, such as the encoding of tactile perception of fabrics, the integration of force feedback with multi-channel tactile feedback, and the synchronization of complete haptic feedback with physical-based simulation of fabrics featuring real-time animation. However, these risks are compensated by the expected advancement of multimodal interaction tools, techniques and know-how resulting out of this project.