Weirding Haptics

Project Details
Project Name :

Weirding Haptics

Project Category :

07Haptic Interfaces, bruno, Featured Project, Steimle

Client Review :

(UIST 2021)

Description :

Weirding Haptics

In-Situ Prototyping of Vibrotactile Feedback in Virtual Reality through Vocalization

Effective haptic feedback in virtual reality (VR) is an essential element for creating convincing immersive experiences. To design such feedback, state-of-the-art VR setups provide APIs for programmatically generating controller vibration patterns. While tools for designing vibrotactile feedback keep evolving, they often require expert knowledge and rarely support direct manipulation methods for mapping feedback to user interactions within the VR environment. To address these challenges, we contribute a novel concept called Weirding Haptics, that supports fast-prototyping by leveraging the user’s voice to design such feedback while manipulating virtual objects in-situ. Through a pilot study (N = 9) focusing on how tactile experiences are vocalized during object manipulation, we identify spatio-temporal mappings and supporting features needed to produce intended vocalizations. To study our concept, we built a VR design tool informed by the results of the pilot study. This tool enables users to design tactile experiences using their voice while manipulating objects, provides a set of modifiers for fine-tuning the created experiences in VR, and allows to rapidly compare various experiences by feeling them. Results from a validation study (N = 8) show that novice hapticians can vocalize experiences and refine their designs with the fine-tuning modifiers to match their intentions. We conclude our work by discussing uncovered design implications for direct manipulation and vocalization of vibrotactile feedback in immersive virtual environments.


Donald Degraen, Bruno Fruchard, Frederick Smolders, Emmanouil Potetsianakis, Seref Güngör, Antonio Krüger and Jürgen Steimle
In Proceedings of the 34th ACM Symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST’21), ACM Press, 2021.