Tactile Debit

1/6 finalist. Awarded for the most well framed problem statement and design rationale

Client / Duration

TTEI 2015 Conference
3 months
October 2014

Individual Role

Conferene Presenter
Team Lead
Team -
Jiaqi Li
Jordan Jalles
Sophie Huang

project brief

image project brief

In the early electronic era, we have designed wonderfully informative tangible tools. Great tangible controls are not just input devices. They act as physical indicators of the state of a system that we read through our hands. The click of a switch gives us haptic feedback that the device has heard our commands. The arrangement of a row of sliders reads like a graph to our fingers. Good tangible interfaces are also well-coupled with the things they control, providing an immediate feedback loop. The feedback from a steering mechanism makes your body a part of the vehicle’s movement, encouraging you to rely on more than just your eyes and ears.What controls give a media editor the ability to think through his work with his body, shifting pieces, clipping and extending with his hands and arms? Design so that your user can take full advantage of the capabilities of her hands, both operating and learning from touch, feel, and position. Use no sound, and no more than 64 pixels* in your final design. Imagine devices that that allow your user to keep her eyes and ears on the task, not on the controls.
Full Design brief can be found here - TEI 2015


We decided to develop the concept of Tactile Debit. The digital money systems -Credit and Debit cards have made our lives easier but we have lost the tangibility of physical money due to which it is impossible to keep track of your budget in-situ. Through our design, we are attempting to bring the tangibility back to the digital money world.



After discussing the kinds of feedback, we brought in several ideas to the next meeting. From there we selected 3 ideas we all liked - Tangible light switch, Feel Your Music and Tactile Debit


We decided to move forward with Tactile Debit concept and began to dig deeper into details for the interactions.


We did Storyboarding to create the final video presentation and created high fidelity mockups for the design.

image project brief


image project brief

When you open your wallet for the card, the wallet gives feedback to tell you your budget status. The intensity of the vibration depends on how you are d oing o n y our bu dget. If y ou are under your daily budget, it gives a slow vibration, and a fast vibration if you’ve gone over. When you close your wallet after paying , the wallet gives another vibration feedback about the budget status. As soon as the budget is changed (Money is sp ent fr om y our account), the data gets updated and is sent to the spark core over wifi. The switch gets triggered when the wallet is opened or closed and sends signal to the spark core. The spark core then uses the data to determine the intensity of the vibration and sends a signal t o th e vibration motor accordingly. The vibration motor vibrates and provides “in the moment” feedback to the user, about the status of his budget.


We created a working prototype of our tactile debit wallet using spark core arduino, vibration motor and a switch.

Content & Design © 2019. Urvashi Gupta