This paper investigates a novel approach to rendering color information from pictures as haptic feedback at the fingers. Our approach uses a 1D haptic rotary display to render the color information to the fingers using sinusoidal textures of different frequency and amplitude. We tested 12 subjects on their ability to associate colors laid out in a spatially irregular pattern with haptic feedback displayed to their fingers, with the numbers of color/haptic stimuli pairs presented increasing in successive trials. The experiment results suggest that subjects are able to comfortably learn and distinguish up to 8 color/haptic stimuli pairs based on this particular mapping; and with some effort, many can distinguish as many as 16 pairs. The results also raise key issues for further investigation in subsequent studies including the role of multimodal inputs like audio along with haptics.
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