Wintersemester 2020/2021, BA/MA Produkt-Design

Jelly, my haptic friend

If children grow up in a world where the boundaries between virtual reality and physical reality are increasingly blurred, how will they learn the impact their virtual actions have on the real world? Digital programs aren’t affected by real world forces. Ping pong can continue endlessly, with no force dissipating or being lost. But that doesn’t explain how things work in the real world. This project builds on experiments from Sprint 3, in which events occurring in a computer program were converted into real, physical outputs using vibration motors.


Jelly serves as an amplifier for the vibration output. Jelly is neither solid nor liquid, it’s a kind of hybrid. The fact the jelly is so fluid with a larger surface area allows the vibration to spread out and radiate. This material acts as a buffer against force - as a result, its haptic and visual vibration creates a much softer and more harmless effect than other materials. 


There is no limit to the forms jelly can take. Jellies with different colors and shapes are pleasing to the eye and visualise the flow of vibrations. Patterns drawn on the jelly at regular intervals demonstrate the beginning and end of the vibration, a force we can now perceive in the physical world. Jelly is a familiar and safe ingredient for children to play with or consume. It also offers kids the possibility to decorate their own haptic toy. Jelly is linked to a smartphone, and children can experience virtual reality being implemented in the physical world through actions in the smartphone. This enhanced jelly can be a way for children to learn about the boundaries and impacts of behavior in a virtual world.

Supervision Prof. Carola Zwick, Judith Glaser, Felix Rasehorn, Yolanda Leask
Project categorySemester Project Project subjects BA/MA Produkt-Design