ThermoBlinds provide various thermal sensation at a high refresh rate by adjusting the blinds angle in front of the infrared source.

ThermoBlinds is a non-contact, highly responsive thermal feedback device for interactive applications. It provides responsive feedback by rapidly adjusting infrared irradiance with a shutter mechanism. The feedback can be applied according to real-time visual media contents, such as videos and virtual reality, to reproduce thermal experiences. ThermoBlinds gives the user an immersive temperature sensation at a high refresh rate without the need to wear the device.


Infrared rays have often been used to provide warmth in interactive applications because it works on multiple people without any wearable devices. However, it has been difficult to increase the refresh rate of the thermal feedback through infrared by controlling infared sources. Since infrared light travels straight and reflects like light, we thought that the mechanism of visual media could be applied, and focused on the mechanism of liquid crystal displays (LCD). LCDs emit a constant amount of light from the backlight and achieve a high refresh rate by rapidly changing the transmittance of the light through a layer of LCs on top of the backlight. We have achieved a high refresh rate even with temperature media by emitting a constant amount of infrared rays from an infrared source and controlling its transmittance at high speed, instead of using the conventional approach of controlling the infrared source itself. Since the degree of infrared transmittance cannot be controlled with ordinary LC, we introduced a shutter mechanism to mechanically change the degree of transmittance.


The shutter is made of polycarbonate because of its light weight and high thermal tolerance. The backside of the shutter is covered with aluminum tapes to prevent the overheating of the shutter. The shutter is actuated with a servo motor RS204MD which is controlled by a microcontroller.



  1. Sosuke Ichihashi, Arata Horie, Masaharu Hirose, Zendai Kashino, Shigeo Yoshida, Sohei Wakisaka, and Masahiko Inami. ThermoBlinds: Non-Contact, Highly Responsive Thermal Feedback for Thermal Interaction. In Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference Emerging Technologies (SIGGRAPH ’22 Emerging Technologies ). 2022. doi

  2. Sosuke Ichihashi, Arata Horie, Masaharu Hirose, Zendai Kashino, Shigeo Yoshida, and Masahiko Inami. High-Speed Non-Contact Thermal Display Using Infrared Rays and Shutter Mechanism. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2021 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2021 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (UbiComp-ISWC ’21 Adjunct). 2021. Best Paper Award. doi


MIMSVAI Best Paper Award. 2021. UbiComp-ISWS 2021 Adjunct.


Sosuke Ichihashi
Arata Horie
Masaharu Hirose
Zendai Kashino
Shigeo Yoshida
Sohei Wakisaka
Masahiko Inami
Tomoya Sasaki