Current head-mounted displays enable users to explore virtual worlds by simply walking through them (i.e., real-walking VR). This led researchers to create haptic displays that can also simulate different types of elevation shapes. However, existing shape-changing floors are limited by their tabletop scale or the coarse resolution of the terrains they can display due to the limited number of actuators and low vertical resolution. To tackle this challenge, we introduce Elevate, a dynamic and walkable pin-array floor on which users can experience not only large variations in shapes but also the details of the underlying terrain. Our system achieves this by packing 1200 pins arranged on a 1.80 x 0.60m platform, in which each pin can be actuated to one of ten height levels (resolution: 15mm/level). To demonstrate its applicability, we present our haptic floor combined with four walkable applications and a user study that reported increased realism and enjoyment.
Seungwoo Je, Hyunseung Lim, Kongpyung Moon, Shan-Yuan Teng, Jas Brooks, Pedro Lopes, and Andrea Bianchi. 2021. Elevate: A Walkable Pin-Array for Large Shape-Changing Terrains. To appear in CHI 2021.