For the automotive domain, shape-changing interfaces hold potential as an interaction modality since they offer modalities that do not rely on the drivers vision such as traditional screen-based interfaces.

Our shape-changing car-seat backrest lets the driver haptically sense obstacles in the rear periphery. The implemented prototype with a 4 x 4 array of servomotors changes the shape of the
car-seat backrest. It delivers a continuous dorsal sensory augmentation of the rear periphery.


  • Explore the potential of the car seat’s backrest for spatial sensing of the rear periphery through continuous shape-changing dorsal haptic stimulation.
  • Increase driver engagement by enabling the driver to to feel what happens behind the car.
Contact: Thomas Grah

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Related Publications


Grah, Thomas; Epp, Felix; Meschtscherjakov, Alexander; Tscheligi, Manfred

Dorsal Haptic Sensory Augmentation: Fostering Drivers awareness of their surroundings with a haptic car seat Inproceedings

Meschtscherjakov, Boris De Ruyter Alexander (Ed.): PERSUASIVE 2016, Adjunct Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, pp. 59–62, Salzburg, Austria, 2016.



Grah, Thomas; Epp, Felix; Wuchse, Martin; Meschtscherjakov, Alexander; Gabler, Frank; Steinmetz, Arnd; Tscheligi, Manfred

Dorsal Haptic Display: A Shape-changing Car Seat for Sensory Augmentation of Rear Obstacles Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, pp. 305–312, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2015, ISSN: 978-1-4503-3736-6.

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