Haptic video prototyping

Designers are used to sketching to get ideas out and see how they look on paper. The process of sketching at low fidelity, then moving on to more and more detailed prototypes is well known. But when you’re designing interactive experiences for the sense of touch, there are unique prototyping challenges.

To start, the sense of touch takes place over time. You can’t represent it with a 2D plane, or even a 3D model. Your prototype needs a timeline.

Plus, you need to prototype the software itself. There are rapid prototyping tools for interaction designers that let you mock up UIs quickly, but they don’t offer haptic features.

We developed a technique that designers can use to “sketch” haptic prototypes, by making video mockups of interactions and playing haptics in sync with the video. Here’s a short explainer about the process.