Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Ustek, D., Chow, K., Zhang, H., & MacLean, K. "A Multimodal Illusion of Force Improves Control Perception in Above-Surface Gesture: Elastic Zed-Zoom." In International Conference on Human Haptic Sensing and Touch Enabled Computer Applications, 2018, (pp. 295-308). Springer, Cham.
Emerging above-surface technology is an opportunity to exploit interaction spaces above a device’s surface; however, the resulting loss of the proprioceptive feedback available from on-surface interactions degrades the user’s sense of control and precision. We asked whether a pseudohaptic illusion (PHI) could help: a sense of force in the absence of actual contact, induced by manipulating the relation of body motion to graphical and auditory cues. To examine the value of above-surface PHIs, we used a zooming microtask, because finger occlusion impedes current implementations on small displays such as smartwatches. In a qualitative study (N = 12), we were able to trigger a physical illusion most often described as elasticity in 92% of participants through physical control/graphical display (C/D) manipulation, and that audio cues significantly strengthened the illusion. Participants experiencing this PHI reported improved sense of control when zooming, and found the interaction’s physicality natural.
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