Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Seifi, H., Chun, M., & MacLean, K. E.. "Towards Affective Handles for Tuning Vibrations." ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 15(3 (Article 22), 2019. pgs. 1-12.
When refining or personalizing a design, we count on being able to modify or move an element by changing its parameters rather than creating it anew in a different form or location—a standard utility in graphic and auditory authoring tools. Similarly, we need to tune vibrotactile sensations to fit new use cases, distinguish members of communicative icon sets, and personalize items. For tactile vibration display, however, we lack knowledge of the human perceptual mappings that must underlie such tools. Based on evidence that affective dimensions are a natural way to tune vibrations for practical purposes, we attempted to manipulate perception along three emotion dimensions (agitation, liveliness, and strangeness) using engineering parameters of hypothesized relevance. Results from two user studies show that an automatable algorithm can increase a vibration’s perceived agitation and liveliness to different degrees via signal energy, while increasing its discontinuity or randomness makes it more strange. These continuous mappings apply across diverse base vibrations; the extent of achievable emotion change varies. These results illustrate the potential for developing vibrotactile emotion controls as efficient tuning for designers and end-users.
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