Malte Weiss, Chat Wacharamanotham, Simon Voelker, Jan Borchers
In Proceedings of UIST '11, ACM, 615 – 620
Publication year: 2011



We introduce FingerFlux, an output technique to generate near-surface haptic feedback on interactive tabletops. Our system combines electromagnetic actuation with permanent magnets attached to the user’s hand. FingerFlux lets users feel the interface before touching, and can create both attracting and repelling forces. This enables applications such as reducing drifting, adding physical constraints to virtual controls, and guiding the user without visual output. We show that users can feel vibration patterns up to 35 mm above our table, and that FingerFlux can significantly reduce drifting when operating on-screen buttons without looking.

The Team

FingerFlux is a research project by Malte Weiss, Chat Wacharamanotham, Simon Voelker, and Jan Borchers from the Media Computing Group. It is funded in part through the German B-IT Foundation.


 author = {Weiss, Malte and Wacharamanotham, Chat and Voelker, Simon and Borchers, Jan},
 title = {FingerFlux: Near-surface Haptic Feedback on Tabletops},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 24th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology},
 series = {UIST '11},
 year = {2011},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-0716-1},
 location = {Santa Barbara, California, USA},
 pages = {615--620},
 numpages = {6},
 url = {},
 doi = {10.1145/2047196.2047277},
 acmid = {2047277},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {actuation, haptic feedback, interactive tabletops, magnets},