Haptic design smooths the way for a redefinition of Taica's αGEL


Beyond functionality: redefining αGEL

The incredible functionality of αGEL is well-known by everyone from joggers to aerospace engineers. Taica Corporation’s core product and technology is most famous for its heat dissipation, vibration reduction and shock absorption (one can drop an egg on it from more than 50 feet above and the egg would be unscathed). But how else can this soft, gel-like substance be used, or thought of?

In collaboration with Loftwork, this project sought to redefine the gel – beyond its properties or functions. By focusing on the sensory experience of touch, and borrowing from Loftwork’s experience in haptic design, new possibilities were created.



UX Map: Haptics of Wonder

Created through a haptic framework, this UX Map allows users to identify the types of αGEL through their textures. Haptics refers to the sense of touch – and the experiences or feelings associated. This allowed Taica’s αGEL types to be evaluated not only on functionality but also on their ‘feel’. The materials were plotted on soft–hard and sticky–smooth axes, to present the variety of their textures.
In workshops set up by Loftwork, a large number of sample gels were categorized according to how they felt when touched. 12 distinctive types of αGEL were selected and named, based on a research method examining the relationship between phonemes and impressions. We expect to see new possibilities for the application of αGEL through this map.

Interactive Sample Kit: with 12 samples of αGEL (vol.1)

This sample kit contains 12 types of αGEL. This will help users wishing to incorporate αGEL into their designs/innovations to better understand the different types of αGEL.
Just like a coloring book with 12 colors, this kit has 12 textures, letting users experience each gradation. By using it with the αGEL UX map (‘Haptics of Wonder’), users will be able to grasp each gel’s distinguishing features in a tangible way.


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