Digi Sense

In this discussion, I want to document, discuss, and review my idea for a device that allows the user to connect to a PC (possibly via USB) and receive data from it. The concept is that the computer can send serial data to a device, which, in turn, triggers small vibration motors located on the user's body. Currently, I am utilizing four levels of signal strength to create distinguishable sensations from each motor. This allows me to transmit 2 bits of data per motor. Since I am presently training to understand basic single digits sent from the computer, two motors are sufficient to interface the data from the computer to my body. The next step is to learn to interpret these signals subconsciously by sending numbers via a basic Python script, which prompts me to guess the transmitted number. After my guess, I receive direct confirmation of whether my guess was correct or not, displaying the actual number that was sent.

I am currently unsure about a few things regarding my project:

Motor Placement: Placing the motors on the forearm doesn't seem ideal as a strong signal on one motor makes it difficult to distinguish between certain levels of the other one.
Signal Format: The numbers are sent to the body using the following format: (number + 1) -> binary -> 2 bits per motor (00: Motor off; 01: low vibration; 10: medium vibration; 11: high vibration).
Training: I'm not sure if my small Python script is optimal for learning, as I don't have much experience in this kind of learning/adapting.
I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions on what changes to make in these areas. I doubt if the current setup is optimal, and I want to ensure I haven't overlooked any major aspects.


  • What type of motors or vibratos do you want to use? If you want you can test using the vibrators on the skin before putting them in.
    Weight and how much force they generate will be fundamental to decide where to put them. And if they have to vibrate for long time over 30 seconds temperature will have to be considered.

  • Look into David Eagleman's work in particular the Neosensory papers.
    I've been trying to do exactly that but through magnetic implants rather than vibration motors. A first achievement would be to convey audio. So far my goal is to create a platform to experiment with as many users as possible which is one of the reasons I'm making the ZINC app and Lodestone devices.
    My idea is to gamify the experience to make the learning part more tolerable.

  • This sounds so interesting! Any updates?
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