Mid-air haptic rendering of 2D geometric shapes with a dynamic tactile pointer

Hajas, Daniel, Pittera, Dario, Nasce, Antony, Georgiou, Orestis and Obrist, Marianna (2020) Mid-air haptic rendering of 2D geometric shapes with a dynamic tactile pointer. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 13 (1). ISSN 1939-1412

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An important challenge that affects ultrasonic midair haptics, in contrast to physical touch, is that we lose certain exploratory procedures such as contour following. This makes the task of perceiving geometric properties and shape identification more difficult. Meanwhile, the growing interest in mid-air haptics and their application to various new areas requires an improved understanding of how we perceive specific haptic stimuli, such as icons and control dials in mid-air. We address this challenge
by investigating static and dynamic methods of displaying 2D geometric shapes in mid-air. We display a circle, a square, and a triangle, in either a static or dynamic condition, using ultrasonic mid-air haptics. In the static condition, the shapes are presented as a full outline in mid-air, while in the dynamic condition, a tactile pointer is moved around the perimeter of the shapes. We measure participants’ accuracy and confidence of identifying
shapes in two controlled experiments (n1 = 34, n2 = 25). Results reveal that in the dynamic condition people recognise shapes significantly more accurately, and with higher confidence. We also find that representing polygons as a set of individually drawn haptic strokes, with a short pause at the corners, drastically enhances shape recognition accuracy. Our research supports the design of mid-air haptic user interfaces in application scenarios
such as in-car interactions or assistive technology in education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank Robert Cobden and Emily Gait for their programming and transcription support. We are also grateful for the discussions on cognitive chunking with Dr Ronald Grau. We thank all reviewers for helping us improving the quality of this manuscript with their extensive constructive criticism. For equipment and funding support, we would like to thank Ultraleap Ltd, and the European Research Council, European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme (grant No 801413).
Keywords: Mid-Air Haptics; Touch; Geometry; Shape Perception; Memory Chunking; Haptic Controls; In-Car Interaction; Assistive Technology
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Creative Technology
Depositing User: Lucy Arnold
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 09:46
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 08:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89337

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
SenseX - Sensory Experiences for Interactive TechnologiesG1589EUROPEAN UNIONH2020-ERC-2014-STG-638605