Affective Haptic Vest for Facilitating Interpersonal Communication
Master of Science
Touch plays an important role in deepening human connection. The emerging field of Affective Haptics seeks to analyze and design systems capable of processing human emotions through touch. There is an increasing focus on using the sense of touch to assist in communicating information: in entertainment, treatment procedures in social and developmental therapy, and social interaction. This thesis reports on the design of an Affective Haptic Vest, the design of vibrotactile cues displayed onto the back of the wearer of the vest, and an exploratory experiment to evaluate the ability of the vest and cues to facilitate communication of emotion. In particular, the goal of this experiment was to investigate if the vibrotactile cues displayed through the vest were capable of communicating four foundational human emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. The results were supportive of the hypothesis that the vest and cues were capable of conveying affect, and encourage us to explore the design of vibrotactile cues on the back as an affect area, and highlight areas to further consider when designing affective wearable devices.
Haptics; Affective Haptics; Wearables; Vibrotactile Feedback