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SoundBender: dynamic acoustic control behind obstacles

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 14:47 authored by Mohd Adili Norasikin, Diego Martinez Plasencia, Spyros Polychronopoulos, Gianluca MemoliGianluca Memoli, Yutaka Tokuda, Sriram Subramanian
Ultrasound manipulation is growing in popularity in the HCI community with applications in haptics, on-body interaction, and levitation-based displays. Most of these applications share two key limitations: a) the complexity of the sound fields that can be produced is limited by the physical size of the transducers; and b) no obstacles can be present between the transducers and the control point. We present SoundBender, a hybrid system that overcomes these limitations by combining the versatility of phased arrays of transducers (PATs) with the precision of acoustic metamaterials. In this paper, we explain our approach to design and implement such hybrid modulators (i.e. to create complex sound fields) and methods to manipulate the field dynamically (i.e. stretch, steer). We demonstrate our concept using self-bending beams enabling both levitation and tactile feedback around an obstacle and present example applications enabled by SoundBender.


Leviate; g1987; EU FET Open; 737087


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


UIST '18 Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology


Association for Computing Machinery

Page range


Event name

UIST 2018 31st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology

Event location

Berlin, Germany

Event type


Event date

October 14-17, 2018

Place of publication

New York, NY, USA



Department affiliated with

  • Informatics Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Centre for Computer Graphics Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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