Mobile Haptic Technology Development through Artistic Exploration

In Haptic and Audio Interaction Design. 7thInternational Conference. HAID 2012, Lund Sweden.
By Stahl Stenslie, Tony Olsson, Andreas Göransson, David Cuartielles.
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This paper investigates how artistic explorations can be useful for the development of mobile haptic technology. It presents an alternative framework of design for wearable haptics that contributes to the building of haptic communities outside specialized research contexts. The paper also presents our various wearable haptic systems for mobile computing capable of producing high-order tactile percepts. Our practice based approach suggests a design framework that can be applied to create advanced haptic stimulations/situations for physically embodied interaction in real-world settings.

This paper presents several of our artistic developments using mobile haptic technology with multiple tactile outputs (16+). These represent low cost, open-source haptic systems that use off the shelf components. Our approach intends to act as toolsets for designers working with haptic systems that create emotional and immersive haptic experiences. Rather than developing customized systems aimed at specific tasks or purposes we have made a set of “modules” that are tied together with a shared communication protocol. This approach allows for quick high-fidelity prototype development and faster, simplified iterations of the design. Since our projects are primarily based on standard components, they can be developed at a low start-up cost and propagate reusability. Our projects have progressed in a chain of iterated design processes where the hardware and the conceptual components have affected each other. The conceptual content part of the system is based on an experimental media art approach where the goal is to create a multisensory, immersive and embodied experience system centered on an open exploration of a poetics of touch. The term embodiment is here understood as a combination of both a physical presence in the world and a social embedding in a web of practices and purposes. The resulting systems have been successfully tried at several usability tests during public art events in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia.

Keywords: Applied haptics, wearables, bodysuit, haptic and embodied interaction, haptic resolution, Arduino, Android, mobile haptic systems, online haptics editor.


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