Weightsensors & HX711 amp

Solenoid valve

for pillow

HID Bluetooth module for mouse


(Solenoids for mouse)

(developed by MIT Media Lab)


Logo Jasper Zehetgruber


In an increasingly automated world the fear is growing that robots will slowly replace us as humans. But what if machine and human could feel each others needs? Would this help us to work together?

The digital desktop interface is based on the office-desk of reality.

The sounds and visuals of files, folders and the trash bin are all elements users know from their daily life.

This helps them to understand intuitively how to use a computer. What separates the reality from the digital realm though, is tactile communication in both ways. By far the touch screen is only a human input device. Tactile information doesn't flow from the computer to the human, except through vibration. The emotional sense of touch helps us to truely understand the our partner as a person. If you are physically separated it is much more difficult to understand each other.

“Balance” is a step in the direction of a future that integrates our tactile senses into digital environments.

Craftsmen manufacture goods manually in reality, so why not also shape our digital environment with hands and bodies?

A suitable medium to suggest such a ‘hyper-tactile world' would be the inflatable. Controlled electronically, it can mimic breathing and can feel almost alive. What if there would be a workspace that could take care of you and make you take a break every now and then by simply deflating your tools? What if your office environment could express heavy breathing when it is overloaded? Would we have a different relation to our workspaces and the work we do there?

© Jasper Zehetgruber, 2020, all rights reserved