Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Baumann, M. A., MacLean, K. E., Hazelton, T. W., McKay, A. (2010). "Emulating Human Attention-Getting Practices with Wearable Haptics." In Proceedings of IEEE Haptic Symp (HAPTICS '10), Waltham, MA, USA, pp. 149-156, IEEE Press, March 2010.
Our computers often need to get our attention, but have inadequate means of modulating the intrusiveness with which they do so. Humans commonly use social touch to gain one another’s attention. In this paper, we describe an early exploration of how an expressive, wearable or holdable haptic display could emulate human social practices with the goal of evoking comparable responses from users. It spans three iterations of rapid prototyping and user evaluation, beginning with broad-ranging physical brainstorming, before proceeding to higher-fidelity actuated prototypes. User reactions were incorporated along the way, including an assessment of the low-fidelity prototypes’ expressiveness. Our observations suggest that, using simple and potentially unintrusive body-situated mechanisms like a bracelet, it is possible to convey a range of socially gradable attention-getting expressions to be useful in real contexts.
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