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Most tactile displays currently built rely on pin-based arrays. However, this kind of tactile device is not always appropriate when we need to give the illusion of finely textured surfaces. In this paper, we describe the squeeze film effect between a plate and a finger, and we use this effect to design an ultrasonic tactile plate. The plate is actuated by piezoelectric ceramics. Ultrasonic vibrations are thus produced and are capable of generating the squeeze film effect. This enables us to simulate variable friction on the surface of the plate. In order to identify the squeeze film phenomenon, this study considers the case where a finger, with a planar bottom surface and with epidermal ridges, is placed on a rapidly vibrating plate. The overpressure is calculated and the result enables us to assess the relative coefficient of friction as a function of the vibration amplitude of the plate. Based on this principle, and using both analytic and FE method studies, and given ergonomic and stimulation (squeeze film) requirements, we show that it is possible to design a tactile plate which is capable of giving programmable tactile sensations. We conclude by comparing the results obtained from our simulations with experimental results.