Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Swindells, C., "Incorporating Affect into the Design of 1-D Rotary Physical Controls." Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of British Columbia, 2007. Supervised: MacLean, Booth
The visceral emotional reactions that users have to technologies is increasingly understood to be important in terms of safety, performance, and pleasure in its own right. This thesis systematically explores users's emotional (affect) reactions to everyday physical manual controls, in order to inform a design process that considers appropriate affective response as well as performance relationships. Design of both mechanical and emerging mechatronic physical controls are addressed. This novel design process includes parameterizing second order (inertial) dynamics using a system identification technique, and rendering models on a custom force-feedback knob. Next, this thesis explores biometric and self-reported measures of the affective responses elicited by these dynamics, and an iterative prototyping tool for rapid refinement of the "feel" of physical controls. This research impacts use of the passive physical interfaces such as mechanical knobs and sliders that are already ubiquitous in our everyday environments, as well as the active physical controls that are emerging in embedded computing environments such as cars, games, and medical devices.
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