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Assessment of Perceptual Interference in Multimodal Wearable Haptic Systems

Team: Niharikha Subash - PhD Candidate, Human Factors and Ergonomics (Presenter), Brad Holschuh - Faculty Advisor

Program: Wearable Technology Lab

How does interference affect detection thresholds of simultaneous multimodal haptic cues?

Multi-haptic devices can convey sensory information through the skin to our brain, allowing for more realistic perception of touch feedback. However, integrating different types of haptic feedback into a single wearable device can lead to perceptual and mechanical interference, making it difficult to perceive each stimulus distinctly.

Furthermore, the interaction of touch with other senses (such as vision) can direct the attention towards the dominant sense, potentially altering how we perceive the haptic stimuli. Among the different haptic actuation techniques, vibrotactile and compression/squeeze are two of the most used types of haptic actuation. Although compressive and vibrotactile actuators have been studied individually, the question of how one actuation interferes with the perception thresholds of another still needs to be investigated (especially when these actuators are integrated with soft goods for designing wearable haptic systems).

This research focuses on assessing the parameters which affect the perception of the multi-haptic device, specifically looking at (1) the Impact of multi-haptics on perceptual interference, (2) the Effect of visual cues on interference, and (3) Identifying design parameters for multi-haptic soft goods based wearable device, hoping to create a comprehensive guideline for future haptic designers.

Funders: Human Factors & Ergonomics Microgrants