Audio-Tactile Glove

I presented my Audio-Tactile Glove design at DAFx-13 this year and thought it might be a good idea to encourage others to create their own by writing up a short DIY “How To”. I’d like anyone who follows these instructions (including classroom projects) to give me feedback about what they are doing and what results they found. I believe that the instructions below are quite straight forwards and easy to follow, but please leave a comment or email me if you have any questions.

Parts list:

  • Gloves

(I use gym gloves for flexibility and comfort, but any glove with a thin, stretchy material will also work)

  • Plastic

(I used the plastic from a water bottle)

  • Actuators

(Available at or search for HiWave Haptic/Audio Exciter)

  • Audio cable and connectors

(Single core multi stranded cable for soldering and a suitable audio cable, such as a jack cable or whatever the output requirements of the system you choose to input audio through)

  • You will need a soldering iron.

Simple construction (can be altered to your own requirements):

  1. Cut the plastic. Shape and contour it to the back of your finger.
  2. Punch small holes around the edge of the plastic.
  3. Use a needle and thread to attach the plastic shape to the corresponding position on the glove. Keep it tight. The closer to your finger the better.
  4. Repeat 1-3 depending on your own application. On my own design I placed actuators across the back of each finger and the thumb. I also included a palm-sized actuator positioned inside the glove.
  5. Once the plastic bases are correctly positioned, remove the protective layer from the actuator’s pads and carefully place them onto the bases.
  6. The next stage is to solder the wires used to carry the audio signals to the actuators. The actuators are polarised (positive/negative), so be sure to note this when attaching cables and routing them to your audio input connection.
  7. Attach a longer audio cable from your glove and terminate it with an audio connection, such as a 3.5 mm jack.
  8. The glove is now ready for an audio signal to be applied. Plug it in to your audio source and play.


The audio input to the actuators has to be impedance matched to your device. The impedance of the actuators is available from the manufacturer data sheet, at the time of publication they were 8 Ohms.

The demonstration glove has a possible 6 audio inputs, but is wired in series and parallel to impedance match a standard headphone jack output.

More information at:




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