Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Levesque V, Oram L, MacLean K, Cockburn A, Marchuk ND, Johnson D, Colgate JE, Peshkin MA. "Enhancing physicality in touch interaction with programmable friction." In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011 May 7 (pp. 2481-2490). ACM.
Touch interactions have refreshed some of the 'glowing enthusiasm' of thirty years ago for direct manipulation interfaces. However, today's touch technologies, whose interactions are supported by graphics, sounds or crude clicks, have a tactile sameness and gaps in usability. We use a Large Area Tactile Pattern Display (LATPaD) to examine design possibilities and outcomes when touch interactions are enhanced with variable surface friction. In a series of four studies, we first confirm that variable friction gives significant performance advantages in low-level targeting activities. We then explore the design space of variable friction interface controls and assess user reactions. Most importantly, we demonstrate that variable friction can have a positive impact on the enjoyment, engagement and sense of realism experienced by users of touch interfaces.
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