During this three day exploration we were given the brief to imagine a haptic prototype that could be inserted into the driverless “Car of the Future”.

We narrowed down our scope to focus on the topic of the car as a ‘Membrane’, that would serve as a filter between the interior and exterior environments. After a rapid brainstorming session, we settled on abstracting the sensation of wind as felt when sticking your hand outside the car window in a wave-like pattern. The goal was to provide future car passengers with the subtle feeling of wind when future conditions make it impossible to engage with the outdoors.

We chose to shy away from using a fan in our prototype as it would have been too much of a one-to-one association. Instead we experimented with different materials that might create the same tickling or vibratory sensations typically associated with the action. By attaching strips of straws to ‘The Plank’ that would vibrate and move according to a slider, the user could control the speed of the car in motion. The more the user ‘accelerated’, the faster the motor vibrated which in turn generated a wind noise provided by a Max patch. This all worked in tandem with a Servo motor that adjusted the angle of a screen located above the straws to guide the user in the wave-like pattern we aimed to replicate.