A nice work on using haptics in HCI called Terrain of information is shown at Interaction-Ivrea.
A mouse-like interface attached with a convertable surface is used to navigate through a (for now faked) apple Finder window. Each direktory hovered over with the “mouse” is represented by a bump on the surface. It’s size directly corresponds to the size of the hovered directory.
[image from We make money not art ]
This reminds me of two earlier works:
- A work done at Bielefeld University in the iLab by Matthias Milczynski et al. called A malleable device with applications to sonification-based data exploration or in short MUI [ abstract and sound examples | paper ]
- The Sonic Finder by William Gaver, an extension/replacement to the Finder as found in MacOS. Information like the size of the selected directory are presented to the user by an auditory feedback.
[image from the MUI as it appears in the paper]