Exploring affective communication through variable-friction surface haptics

TitleExploring affective communication through variable-friction surface haptics
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMullenbach, J., C. Shultz, J. E. Colgate, and A. Marie Piper
Conference NameProceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems - CHI '14
PublisherACM Press
Conference LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada
ISBN Number9781450324731

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.