Tactai's history of innovation

We are built on almost two decades of research, and over 120 academic publications, from Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. This scientific research developed lab prototypes for high fidelity touch experiences and devices to record tactile properties to realistically record and reproduce surface characteristics.

Between 2014 and 2015, we perfected the patent-pending core haptics software, miniaturized the device footprint to a wearable, and developed a commercial technology to capture, transmit and replay natural touch.

In 2016, Tactai incorporated and started developing of world’s first fingertip wearable for VR/AR with sub-1mm resolution finger tracking.

In 2017, the our haptic virtual reality wearable (link to /vr-product) industrial prototype was designed and manufactured at a price point for the mass market.

In 2018, we broadened our horizon to makes any tablet feel like real world surfaces, focusing on bare-finger, natural touch-enabled interaction for touchscreens, smartphones and touch panels.

In 2019, we launched the Tactai Haptic Module and reference designs for embedded user-centered human-computer haptic interaction in touch-enabled devices, including stylus (link to /stylus-product) and touchscreens (link to /screen-product).


Our team combines world-class experts in haptics, virtual reality, software development, industrial and micro electronics design. Together, we dream of bringing true touch to the virtual world.

Steven D. Domenikos
CEO / Founder

Steven has built from ground zero and sold successfully four technology companies. As the founder and CEO of Tactai, he has brought together a world-class team uniquely equipped to address the challenge and make TactaiTouch™ a reality. Steven also serves as the Chairman of IERION, a Boston-based technology incubator focusing in wearable technologies. Steven attended Northeastern University where he graduated with a BS and an MS in Computer Engineering with honors. He is also a 2012 Harvard University graduate of the Advanced Leadership Institute and a 2012 Fellow. Steven serves as an international trade advisor on internet technology and electronic services for the US Department of Commerce. He holds 12 US Patents in networking, security, and internet technologies with several more pending, and he is a member of several advisory and industry boards.

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist / Founder

Katherine is a recognized authority in haptics and in robotic systems that enable a user to touch virtual objects and distant environments as though they were real and within reach. Katherine received her BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She has won numerous awards, including the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award – 2012, Citation for Meritorious Service as a Reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Haptics – 2011 and 2008, PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow – 2011, Ford Motor Company Award for Faculty Advising – 2010, NSF CAREER Award – 2009, and many others.

Jonathan Fiene, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer

Jonathan holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University with extensive hands-on expertise in haptics, mechatronics, and full-stack mobile and web development. Alongside teaching courses in mechanical design, manufacturing, robotics, mechatronics, and entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2017, he co-founded and lead the technical team at Parametric Dining (now a part of Bypass Mobile) from 2012 to 2017, after which he relocated to Stuttgart, Germany to lead the Robotics Central Scientific Facility at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. .

Ilann Derche
Vice President, Product Development

Ilann has in-depth product management experience in delivering complex, high-end, extremely reliable products. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Superieur d’Ingenieurs Leonard de Vinci, Paris France, an MBA from HEC University in Montreal, and a Certificate in Marketing from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris, backed by ten years of product development and management experience in the Business Aircraft industry working as a product management executive at Bombardier Airospace.

Simon Landry, Ph.D.
UX/UI Engineer

Simon holds a Ph.D. in human perception from the Université de Montréal and has years of expertise studying how sound and touch combine in the brain to form a convincing multisensory experience. He has also worked for over a decade at translating complex scientific concepts into understandable content for various audiences. He has given several talks and workshops on how to communicate the value of academic breakthroughs, such as Tactai’s Dynamic Tactile Wave, to the public.