Electrotactile Communication via Matrix Electrode Placed on the Torso Using Fast Calibration, and Static vs. Dynamic Encoding

Jovana Malešević, Miloš Kostić, Fabricio A. Jure, Erika G. Spaich, Strahinja Došen, Vojin Ilić, Goran Bijelić, Matija Štrbac

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Electrotactile stimulation is a technology that reproducibly elicits tactile sensations and can be used as an alternative channel to communicate information to the user. The presented work is a part of an effort to develop this technology into an unobtrusive communication tool for first responders. In this study, the aim was to compare the success rate (SR) between discriminating stimulation at six spatial locations (static encoding) and recognizing six spatio-temporal patterns where pads are activated sequentially in a predetermined order (dynamic encoding). Additionally, a procedure for a fast amplitude calibration, that includes a semi-automated initialization and an optional manual adjustment, was employed and evaluated. Twenty subjects, including twelve first responders, participated in the study. The electrode comprising the 3 × 2 matrix of pads was placed on the lateral torso. The results showed that high SRs could be achieved for both types of message encoding after a short learning phase; however, the dynamic approach led to a statistically significant improvement in messages recognition (SR of 93.3%), compared to static stimulation (SR of 83.3%). The proposed calibration procedure was also effective since in 83.8% of the cases the subjects did not need to adjust the stimulation amplitude manually.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7658
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2022


  • Calibration
  • Communication
  • Electric Stimulation/methods
  • Electrodes
  • Humans
  • Tactile communication
  • Torso
  • Touch/physiology
  • feedback coding
  • haptics
  • multi-pad electrode


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