Interactive Systems Based on Electrical Muscle Stimulation
In my research I propose a paradigm to move beyond mobile and wearable computing. I argue that to achieve an even smaller and more minimal form-factor, future devices will leverage the user’s body as an input and output device. Users will not interact with external devices but instead will interact through one of their limbs, which they share with the computer as the interface. In this paradigm, the computer outputs by moving the user’s limbs into a new pose as a response, which I propose doing by means of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS).
My research projects implement this direct overlap with the human body by utilizing medically-safe computer controlled EMS so as to actuate the human body and replace traditional output components (displays, vibration, etc.). I’ve created six interactive systems based on EMS that unveil two of its main benefits: (1) increasing realism by simulating forces in Virtual Reality and (2) information access, opening up the proprioceptive sense as a modalities for I/O devices.