Haptic Keys

Haptics for music technology. Haptic Keys is an exploratory study regarding the usage of haptic technologies for keyboard instruments.

‘Key’ results


One-for-all haptics

The integration of haptics would improve the overall usability of keyboard instruments; being able to change the keybed.


Function over accessibility?

Integrating haptics for keyboard instruments would come at a costly price of over €40-€60 per key. That’s €5.200 on just motors.


Complexity or simplicity?

Several attempts were done on translating rotational force feedback to linear haptic feedback. Simplicity winning it over complexity.

See the prototypes in action

Ecosystem thinking

Switch between the feel of differnt keys. Experience the heavy-feel and response of hammer-action grand piano keys, the light and plastic-feel keys of a cheap synthesizer, the light touch of a Hammond B3 or a remodelled version of that upright piano you got from your grand parents.

Immersive Experience(s)

Haptics is all about creating immersive experiences. On one hand it is the future of interaction design (VR, AR), on the other it’s still not widely understood. My main objective for Demo Day was to create an experience in context of the usage, recreating a studio and showing the story (and iterations) behind it.

Re-cycling knowledge

With my M12 project focused on haptic force feedback and FEELIX I gained a lot of knowledge regarding haptics, it’s working and FEELIX. For this project I re-used this knowledge and the integration system of FEELIX for The White One. Enabling me to make design decisions based on prior haptic knowledge.

One concept, five+ iterations.

From a personal stance

During this project I got a lot of freedom. What started with a quest to get an internship at a company, resulted in this exploratory approached project in which music and haptics stood central. It allowed me to finally get full usage of my 3D printer, try out different techniques and use a trial-and-error approach to a new field for me, mechanical engineering.

This project has been valuable to me as a designer as I learned many new things regarding this topic. It also showed me the complexities of integrating haptic design for music instruments. And provided me to further explore the main themes for my FMP proposal. During this project it was also the first time to work with MIDI Arduino, a new skill which has been very valuable for the physical demonstrator of Sound Seeker. Allowing me to connect my DAW and physical prototype and create ‘sound’.

This exploratory approach is something many people appreciated during Demo Day. Rather than just showing the end-result my goal was to tell the story and show the steps before the ‘final thing’. This approach also sparked the interest of Design Intelligence Award recruiter, who invited me to participate to this competition.

A winning team

Twan Muste


Twan is an all-round creative, 3d model prototyper, videographer, prototype realizer, and an in-spe haptic feedback expert. Roles included, UIUX design, sound design, design conceptualization, ethnographic research, video creation and overall branding.

Stephan Wensveen


Stephan Wensveen is full professor of Constructive Design Research in Smart Products, Services and Systems. He is the main expert when it comes to Aesthetics of Interaction and his new field; Aesthetics of Intelligence. Stephan has coached me throughout my Master’s and played an important role during this project as coach, mentor and expert. The freedom he gave me and feedback regarding this exploratory approach has been helpful since the start.

Anke van Oosterhout


Anke is a full-time haptic feedback expert and founded the company FEELIX. This tool enhances the overall accessibility of haptic feedback design methods for industrial designers. During this project Anke helped us during this project by applying her FEELIX and haptic feedback knowledge to our concept. Next, we were also able to use one of her FEELIX products, which enhanced the overall haptic feedback.

Part(ial) design?