Tickle Tuner - Haptic Smartphone Cover for Cochlear Implant Users’ Musical Training

Francesco Ganis*, Marianna Vatti, Stefania Serafin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cochlear implants (CIs) allow individuals that can no longer benefit from hearing aids to understand speech with remarkable efficiency. On the other hand, they perform poorly in music perception. Previous research suggest that music experience can be enhanced with the use of other senses such as touch. We present Tickle Tuner, a haptic feedback device suitable for musical training of CI users. The prototype is composed of two high-quality haptic actuators and an external Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) hosted in a 3D printed enclosure coupled with a smartphone. We describe the design and implementation of the prototype and the analysis of its characteristics. We introduce a test bench for the design of different mappings between sound and vibrations which we assessed with a Melodic Contour Identification (MCI) task. Results from a group of fifteen normal hearing participants using CIs simulation showed significantly higher performance (increase of 26% more correct answers) with haptic feedback than without.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHaptic and Audio Interaction Design : 11th International Workshop, HAID 2022, London, UK, August 25–26, 2022, Proceedings
EditorsCharalampos Saitis, Ildar Farkhatdinov, Stefano Papetti
Number of pages11
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-15018-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-15019-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event11th International Workshop on Haptic and Audio Interaction Design, HAID 2022 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Aug 202226 Aug 2022


Conference11th International Workshop on Haptic and Audio Interaction Design, HAID 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13417 LNCS

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Cochlear implants
  • Haptic feedback
  • Musical training


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