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Published on Mar 27, 2014
Exploring Affective Communication Through Variable-Friction Surface Haptics
Joseph Matthew Mullenbach, Craig Shultz, J. Edward Colgate, Anne Marie Piper
This paper explores the use of variable friction surface haptics enabled by the TPad Tablet to support affective communication between pairs of users. We introduce three haptic applications for the TPad Tablet (text messaging, image sharing, and virtual touch) and evaluate the applications with 24 users, including intimate couples and strangers. Participants used haptics to communicate literal texture, denote action within a scene, convey emotional information, highlight content, express and engage in physical playfulness, and to provide one's partner with an experience or sensation. We conclude that users readily associate haptics with emotional expression and that the intimacy of touch in the contexts we study is best suited for communications with close social partners.