The JHapticGUI library allows to embed force feedback devices in the development of Java GUI based programs
Force feedback devices are widely used for a diverse range of application including 3D modeling, medical simulations, games and virtual sculpture. Normally these applications are based on a 3D vector graphics (e.g. OpenGL) scene which is “augmented” with sense of touch, namely the possibility to touch the virtual objects that are rendered on the screen.
However, a relatively unexplored field is the use of such devices to provide a haptic modality of interaction with everyday programs featuring a 2D graphical user interface made of buttons, lists, menus etc. Such a modality, besides opening up new ways of interacting with graphical user interfaces, would have an impact on the access to common software by people with visual impairments.
The JHapticGUI library helps building such software in Java. It provides an abstract and clean interface to the haptic device from the Java code allowing at the same time full freedom as to how to design the haptic scene. It takes care of the synchronization between the Java event dispatching thread and the thread that handles the device. Furthermore it provides a communication protocol based on general purpose messages for connecting haptic and graphic events. Details of communication implementation are hidden to the client code but the content of the message can be defined by the application, for maximum customization of the program logic;
The jHapticGUI library can be downloaded from the SoundSoftware repository