At first glance, tactile illusions seem like a silly thing to pursue, other than being an interesting conversation piece at a party. But there’s actually a practical side to why tactile illusions are being pursued, and could lead to expanded breakthroughs as well.
The primary generators of research and interest at this time are blind people, cell phones and video game applications.
For blind people, the goal is to make it easier for them to access information by advancing interfaces.
Concerning consumer devices, vibrations on your cell phone and the feel of a video game controller shaking is part of the result of applying the principles behind tactile illusions in a practical manner.
Some of the application goals of the near future are to develop interfaces where you can tell who is calling you on your phone by feel, along with being able to identify the music on your music player by touch.