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Tactile shoulder pads for remote communication via a tapping language

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 17, 2021
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Tactile shoulder pads that allow two people to communicate remotely via tapping. They tap or draw patterns on their own shoulders and the taps get recreated on the other person's shoulder pads.
Why?
  • Covert remote communication between two people via their own private tap language.
  • Stay in touch with your friend, partner, favorite person throughout the day.
  • Give your partner a tap on the back or a light massage while they are at work. Let them know you are thinking about them.
  • A useful communications channel for blind or deaf people.
  • A way for two teenage lovers to stay glued to each other at all times.
How it works
A garment covering the shoulders and upper back could be worn under most clothes without it being too visible to others.
Every centimeter is covered with small devices composed of a touch sensor facing up and a small poking shaft facing down. Imagine something like a button that jumps out and is felt by the wearer:
I have to think about the poking device some more. I have to do some research into feasible options. The device should:
  • consume very little power
  • extremely fast to recoil into contracted position
  • durable like a keyboard button
Communication
Person A touches a few spots on their left shoulder, a tap on the back and drags a finger down the right shoulder. The touch sensors detect all these motions and send the command to a paired device on person B.
There the exact same thing happens on the person B's shoulder pads. The small poking buttons get activated in the same pattern that person A just did on their shoulder pads.
In essence, to person B it feels as if person A was standing next to them and tapping on their shoulders/back directly.
The shoulder tapping language
It's up to both wearers to come up with the meaning of their taps and motion patterns. In time, they could develop their own tapping language.
This would be especially useful to blind and deaf people. A universal shoulder tapping language would be useful.
3
Creative contributions

Haptics glove, tablet and shoulder pad for deafblind people

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Michaela D
Michaela D Dec 18, 2021
Your idea would have true value for deafblind people, that is people who are both deaf and blind. I hear you wondering: "Ok, but how many deafblind people are in the world?". At least 15 million! That is 0,2% of Earth's population. And such a device would facilitate communication between them and the rest of the world.
There already are deafblind alphabets, which, the way I understand it, are mostly used to trace letters on the deafblind person's hand. It looks like the means of remote communication for these people is very limited. One example is tele-braille but, if I am correct, you need a "braille-telephone" to send and receive messages
I could not find any device that could do what you suggested: Remote haptics communication, meaning remote communication through touch. I can envision at least three forms:
  • Haptics glove: The haptics glove would be both a signal transmitter and receiver. The sender would trace the signal on their glove and that signal would be replicated on the receiver's glove. This would utilize the existing deafblind alphabets that are traced on one's hand.
  • Haptics tablet: Only message transmitter. Instead of tracing on the glove, you would trace on the pad. Advantage: you don't need to be wearing the glove all the time.
  • Haptics shoulder pad: Only message receiver. The extra space compared to the palm would allow for more complicated signals to be received.
A step further is incorporating technology that converts haptics to oral/written language and reverse. A deafblind person would trace the signal on the glove or the tablet and that would be transformed to audio or text and sent to a seeing or hearing person. Reversely, deafblind people could "read" webpages, "listen" to the news, podcasts etc. This convertion technology already exists for Braille (example); the advantage of the haptics shoulder pad is that you don't need to be using you fingers at the same time.
It is impossible for most of us to imagine life without vision and hearing; but we can imagine how such devices would be life-changing for deafblind people.
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Telemassage and more

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JN
J. Nikola Dec 20, 2021
What if we developed body pads that can be put on the back, arms, legs, or any other body part and be used for distant telemassage? The person doing the massage would have the soft pad at home. By the same principle Darko Savic mentioned above, the tactile movements would transfer to the pad of the user giving him a nice massage. That way, people doing massages could also work from home or deliver massages to people all around the world. Not to mention that this idea could offer some other pleasures besides massaging that people are willing to pay much more.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
It wouldn't take long before the software could give a much better massage (via a program of choice) than a person on the other side. Then again, we already have such massage chairs, etc.
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Tactile insole

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JN
J. Nikola Dec 20, 2021
The idea is great and ignites my inspiration haha.
What if you created a tactile insole that has the same mechanism as the shoulder taps? It could be an invisible way of communication, suitable for special missions, hard exams, or foot massages. Since the feet are smaller in surface, they could require smaller sensory pad for tactile message input.
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Michaela D
Michaela Da month ago
And then was...remote tickling!
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
People could cover every part of their bodies with tactile clothes, as long as clothes stay in tight contact with their skin without obstructing movement. I suggested the shoulders rather than the stomach, tighs, or lower back because gravity keeps the pads touching the skin on the shoulders.
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