Skip to main content

Mid-Air Ultrasonic Pressure Control on Skin by Adaptive Focusing

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications (EuroHaptics 2016)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNISA,volume 9774))


Mid-air ultrasound can remotely invoke tactile sensation to bare hand. However, it is difficult to control it precisely because the hand itself scatters ultrasound. In this paper, a scattering model, which can be solved in real-time, is proposed and, this model can create a stronger focal point as compared to the conventional model. The proposed algorithm is based on the boundary element method and is a natural extension of the previously proposed phased array synthesis algorithms. Numerical analysis shows the relationship between the error of the surface model, computation time, and focusing performance. Psychophysical experiment shows that the internal tactile intensity of the focused ultrasound is significantly improved using the proposed adaptive focusing method. The proposed method can be used for mid-air ultrasound as a test bench of precise weak force haptic interaction.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. 1.

    Autodesk, Inc. CC License.


  1. Bai, M.R., Ih, J.G., Benesty, J.: Acoustic Array Systems: Theory, Implementation, and Application. Wiley, Hoboken (2013)

    Book  Google Scholar 

  2. Carter, T., Seah, S.A., Long, B., Drinkwater, B., Subramanian, S.: Ultrahaptics: multipoint mid-air haptic feedback for touch surfaces. In: Proceedings of the 26th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST 2013, pp. 505–514. NY, USA (2013).

  3. Garland, M., Heckbert, P.S.: Surface simplification using quadric error metrics. In: Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 1997, pp. 209–216. ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., New York, NY, USA (1997).

  4. Inoue, S., Makino, Y., Shinoda, H.: Producing airborne ultrasonic 3D tactile image by time reversal field rendering. In: 2014 Proceedings of the SICE Annual Conference (SICE), pp. 1360–1365, September 2014

    Google Scholar 

  5. Inoue, S., Makino, Y., Shinoda, H.: Active touch perception produced by airborne ultrasonic haptic hologram. In: World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2015 IEEE, pp. 362–367, June 2015

    Google Scholar 

  6. Inoue, S., Shinoda, H.: A pinchable aerial virtual sphere by acoustic ultrasound stationary wave. In: Haptics Symposium (HAPTICS), 2014 IEEE, pp. 89–92, February 2014

    Google Scholar 

  7. Iwamoto, T., Tatezono, M., Shinoda, H.: Non-contact method for producing tactile sensation using airborne ultrasound. In: Ferre, M. (ed.) EuroHaptics 2008. LNCS, vol. 5024, pp. 504–513. Springer, Heidelberg (2008).

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  8. Lee, H., Kim, J.S., Choi, S., Jun, J.H., Park, J.R., Kim, A.H., Oh, H.B., Kim, H.S., Chung, S.C.: Mid-air tactile stimulation using laser-induced thermoelastic effects: the first study for indirect radiation. In: World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2015 IEEE, pp. 374–380, June 2015

    Google Scholar 

  9. Long, B., Seah, S.A., Carter, T., Subramanian, S.: Rendering volumetric haptic shapes in mid-air using ultrasound. ACM Trans. Graph. 33(6), 181:1–181:10 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Makino, Y., Furuyama, Y., Inoue, S., Shinoda, H.: Mutual tele-environment: real-time 3D image transfer with force feedback. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016, ACM (2016, to appear)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ochiai, Y., Kumagai, K., Hoshi, T., Rekimoto, J., Hasegawa, S., Hayasaki, Y.: Fairy lights in femtoseconds: aerial and volumetric graphics rendered by focused femtosecond laser combined with computational holographic fields. In: ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2015, pp. 10:1–10:1. NY, USA (2015).

  12. Śmigaj, W., Betcke, T., Arridge, S., Phillips, J., Schweiger, M.: Solving boundary integral problems with bem++. ACM Trans. Math. Softw. 41(2), 6:1–6:40 (2015).

    MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  13. Sodhi, R., Poupyrev, I., Glisson, M., Israr, A.: Aireal: interactive tactile experiences in free air. ACM Trans. Graph. 32(4), 134:1–134:10 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported in part by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) 25240032, JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A) 15H05315 and JSPS Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows 15J09604. We thank BEM++ Team for their open source projects from which we got a lot of insights for our implementation [12].

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Seki Inoue .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this paper

Cite this paper

Inoue, S., Makino, Y., Shinoda, H. (2016). Mid-Air Ultrasonic Pressure Control on Skin by Adaptive Focusing. In: Bello, F., Kajimoto, H., Visell, Y. (eds) Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications. EuroHaptics 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9774. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-42320-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-42321-0

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics