BrushTouch: Exploring an Alternative Tactile Method for Wearable Haptics

Evan Strasnick, Jessica Cauchard, James Landay

CHI, 2017.

Full Article

Haptic interfaces are ideal in situations where visual/auditory attention is impossible, unsafe, or socially unacceptable. The majority of wearable haptic interfaces, however, possess a limited bandwidth for expressing information. We explore a novel form of tactile stimulation through brushing, and demonstrate BrushTouch, a wearable prototype for brushing haptics. We also present schemes for conveying information such as time and direction through multi-tactor wrist-worn haptic interfaces. To evaluate BrushTouch, two user studies were run, comparing it to a conventional vibrotactile wristband across a number of tasks in both lab and mobile conditions. We show that in certain cases brushing can be more accurately recognized than vibration, enabling more effective spatial schemes for presenting information through haptic means. We then show that BrushTouch is capable of greater information transfer using such cues. We believe that brushing, as with other non-vibrotactile haptic techniques, merit further investigation as potential vehicles for richer haptic feedback.