August 16th, 2012 - February 7th, 2013

Categories: Applications, Devices

SpiderSense on a blindfolded user
SpiderSense on a blindfolded user


SpiderSense is a wearable device that projects the wearer’s near environment on the skin and allows for directional awareness of objects around him. The millions of sensory receptors that cover the skin presents opportunities for conveying alerts and messages.

Drawing inspiration from Spiderman’s SpiderSense, the Human Augmentics wearable tactile display utilizes the skin’s pressure receptors to communicate an awareness of the surrounding environment by conveying information about the wearer’s distance from surrounding objects. While previous tactile vests communicate directional information, SpiderSense creates an actual feeling of the environment by conveying distance information from objects by applying pressure on the skin. SpiderSense consists of a series of Sensor Modules that are positioned on the body of the user. The Sensor Modules scan the environment using ultrasound to alert the user of objects that are closer than 60 feet. Worn at strategic points over the body, the user can potentially gain a sense of all the obstacles that surround him.

One can envision two categories of broad applications of SpiderSense: compensating for a dysfunctional or missing sense (i.e. visually or hearing impaired); or supplementing the existing senses (spatial awarness in a spacesuit or seeing behind one’s head).