We present TableHop, a tabletop display that provides controlled self-actuated deformation and vibro-tactile feedback to an elastic fabric surface while retaining the ability for high-resolution visual projection. The TableHop surface is made of a highly stretchable pure spandex fabric that is electrostatically actuated using electrodes mounted on its underside. We use transparent indium tin oxide electrodes and high-voltage modulation to create controlled surface deformations. This setup actuates pixels and creates deformations in the fabric up to ±5 mm. Since the electrodes are transparent, the fabric surface can function as a diffuser for rear-projected visual images, and avoid occlusion by users.
Users can touch and interact with the fabric to create expressive interactions as with any fabric based shape-changing interface. By using frequency modulation in the high-voltage circuit, we can also create localised tactile sensations on the
user’s finger-tip when touching the surface. We provide detailed simulation results of the shape of the surface deformation and the frequency of the haptic vibrations. These results can be used to build prototypes of different sizes and form-factors. We finally create a working prototype of TableHop that has 30×40 cm2 surface area and uses a grid of 3×3 transparent electrodes. Our prototype uses a maximum of 9.46 mW and can create tactile vibrations of up to 20 Hz. TableHop can be scaled to large interactive surfaces and integrated with other objects and devices. TableHop will improve user interaction experience on 2.5D deformable displays.

Credits: Ranjan et al. 2016


Deepak Ranjan Sahoo, Kasper Hornbæk, and Sriram Subramanian. 2016. TableHop: An Actuated Fabric Display Using Transparent Electrodes. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 3767-3780. DOI:

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