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Abstract Tactile interaction consists in providing the user of a Virtual Reality (VR) system with sensations related to touch, mainly during the evaluation and the manipulation of virtual objects. In some cases the term tactile is used to refer to mechanical stimulation of the skin, which -together with the kinaesthetic sense- creates the haptic feedback. For these reasons, the tactile devices are strictly related to the haptic interfaces. Therefore, in order to give a complete and exhaustive overview of the interfaces related to touch, we have analysed the different categories of devices, such as vibrotactile interfaces, force feedback devices, local and full shape displays. Nowadays, a larger number of applications have been developed for tactile and haptic interaction in Virtual Reality. These applications belong to various fields: Medicine (chirurgical simulators, rehabilitation), Education (display of physical or mathematical phenomena), Industry (virtual prototyping, training, maintenance simulations), Entertainment (video games, theme parks), Arts and Creation (virtual sculpture, virtual instruments), etc. Hereafter the State of the Art related to the tactile and haptic technologies is presented.

 
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