IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

Continuing Our Work During COVID-19

Read the letter regarding COVID-19 by IDRC Director, Jutta Treviranus.

Supports for complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

How do I make my web site accessible? How do I make my office documents accessible? How do I make information available in alternative formats? Businesses and organizations read our AODA Help.

RT @CoLabCoOp: What better way to spend your Thursday than with @Benetech @idrc_ocadu and us? Exploring how to shift power in tech through…
FluidProject RT @colinbdclark: Join us at the PPIG 2020 workshop hosted by @idrc_ocadu in Toronto to explore the margins of programming. Who has agency…

an image of a haptic deviceIndex

This list is for reference purposes only and does not reflect endorsement by the IDRC.


The word "haptic" means "of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch" ( A haptic interface is a device which allows a user to interact with a computer by receiving tactile feed back. This feedback is achieved by applying a degree of opposing force to the user along the x, y, and z axes. These devices can be used by people with disabilities or people who learn best through tactile or kinaesthetic experiences. The use of haptic devices that once were cost prohibitive but now are incorporated into mainstream devices such as the iFeel Mouse and the IFeel Mouseman, promote inclusion and acceptance of "adaptive" technology into the "daily computer experience" of people with and without disabilities.

There are two main types of haptic devices:

  • glove or pen-type devices that allow the user to "touch" and manipulate 3-dimensional virtual objects
  • devices that allow users to "feel" textures of 2-dimensional objects with a pen or mouse-type interface

The 3-dimensional haptic devices can be use for applications such as surgical simulations and remote operation of robotics in hazardous environments.

The 2-dimensional haptic devices can be used to aid computer users who are blind or visually disabled; or who are tactile/Kinaesthetic learners, by providing a slight resistance at the edges of windows and buttons so that the user can "feel" the Graphical User Interface (GUI). This technology can also provide resistance to textures in computer images which enables computer users to "feel" pictures such as maps and drawings.

Two Dimensional Devices

  • The WingMan Force Feedback Mouse and the iFeel mouse are some of the haptic devices produced by Logitech.

Three Dimensional Devices

  • The Phantom Product Line - 3-dimensional pen-style haptic device that "makes it possible for users to touch and manipulate virtual objects (website)" - comes in five different models. From SensAble Technologies.
  • CyberGrasp is a glove-style haptic interface that allows users to touch computer-generated objects and experience realistic force feedbacks.