"Tactile Images": feeling the relief of images

Have you ever dreamt of feeling the relief of images?
Now, it's possible!

1. Demonstration

You can download the following examples by clicking on the images below.
Hollow and bump Grid
Tree leaf
Face Labyrinth Attracting link


feuille visge lab lien
Shockwave development by Vision Future

2. Video

Would you prefer to watch a video?

3. How does it work?

The idea is to give the illusion of perceiving the relief of an image when the user moves the mouse cursor over the image.
The speed and movement of the cursor are artificially modified. If the cursor "goes uphill", it gets slowed down. Conversely, when the cursor goes down a slope, it is accelerated. If the cursor hits a "wall", its movement is stopped.
The algorithm developed uses the "grayscale levels" of the displayed image. In short, if the cursor moves from a dark point (or pixel) to a clear point (or pixel), it gets slowed down.

  • Want to read a more detailed description of the technique?
  • Want to read a scientific paper on this work?

4. What are the applications?

There are many! Here are a few:
  • Relief perception in your images or personal pictures!
  • Video games!
  • Image retouch!
  • Improving web pages with new types of effects concerning the cursor (feeling relief, attractive/repulsive areas, and so on)!
  • Improving computer graphical interfaces (feeling the icons, windows, buttons, menus, etc.)!
  • Helping visually impaired persons (facilitating computer access by simplifying the use of the mouse)!
  • And so on, and so forth.

5. Who are the authors?

Anatole Lécuyer (INRIA/IRISA), Laurent Etienne (Université Rennes 1/IRISA), Bruno Arnaldi (INSA/IRISA), and Jean-Marie Burkhardt (Université Paris 5)
  • Go to Anatole Lécuyer's web page.
  • Send an email to Anatole Lécuyer.

This work is protected by pending patents 

Top of the page