Evaluating Mapping Designs for Conveying Data through Tactons

Tuesday 2 October 2018
Organisers or author: 
Jamie Ferguson, John Williamson, Stephen Brewster

Full paper.

Tactons are structured vibrotactile messages which can be used to transmit information solely through the cutaneous sense. These are particularly useful in situations where visual or auditory displays are unavailable or inappropriate. Most data vibration mappings do not consider the user’s perceptions of the mappings being used, which can lead to confusion and Tactons which are difficult to interpret. To explore this issue, we conducted a magnitude estimation experiment to map how a number of vibrotactile parameters such as duration and frequency relate to the perceived magnitude of data variables that may be used in a real-world context such as error and danger. Results from this study show that when tempo and duration are used to convey data, they are perceived in the same polarity, regardless of the type of data being conveyed. This study provides polarity and scaling values which may be directly utilised by Tacton designers when creating new sets of vibrotactile messages.