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Analyzing Haptic Feedback: "Haptic Mediation"

Ahmed Farooq
Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction (TAUCHI), Tampere University, Finland and Purdue University, Indiana

February 12, 2020 at  10:00 AM

Abstract: In the last decade, with the widespread adoption of mobile touchscreen devices, haptic feedback has evolved from an additive modality to an essential interaction mechanism for information exchange. This has jump-started haptics research and transformed our understanding of conceptualizing virtual objects and environments. At the time, the haptic information channel, along with other modalities, was used to provide a mechanism for human-machine interaction, with the optimal goal of developing more natural ways of interacting with our virtual environments down the road. Unfortunately, the tools and techniques employed for generating rudimentary synthetic tactile signals have not evolved since then. Haptic feedback remains largely limited to a "conformational aspect" of interaction, whereas auditory and visual communication have become far more advanced and natural forms of information exchange, yielding greater throughput and flexible techniques of interaction. Until recently, the lack of intuitive haptic feedback techniques in mobile devices was due to limited computing power as well as inefficient actuation components. However, the situation has changed considerably. We now have more efficient tools to develop meaningful natural haptic experiences that can greatly improve multimodal interaction and evolve the role of tactile actuation into an active feedback mechanism. Therefore, instead of generating synthetic tactile signals, it is essential that we focus on developing meaningful natural feedback techniques to create haptic imagination rather than simplified global device vibration. For this reason, we have been working on Haptic Mediation as a key technique of generating and relaying tactile signals to bridge the gap between synthetic vibration and perceptual sensation of virtual environments to better create haptic imagination.

Bio: Dr. Farooq has 17 years of experience in multimodal interaction technologies and systems engineering. He has a PhD in Interactive Technology & Computer Science and an MSc in Computer Science from Tampere University, where he has worked on more than 10 EU/Finnish research projects since 2011. For the last few years he has been developing novel interaction techniques for multimodal user interfaces, expanding on the concept of haptic mediation. In the last year, he has been working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University, Indiana, USA.