In Contact: Pinching, Squeezing and Twisting for Mediated Social Touch

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Abstract

Mediated social touch has the potential to enhance our interactions with machines and with each other. We present three wearable tactile devices that generate affective haptic sensations via three localised skin stretching modalities; pinching, squeezing, and twisting. The Pinch device is adhered to the skin of the forearm, generating pinching sensations in three locations. The Squeeze and Twist devices are wristbands that elicit squeezing and twisting sensations on the skin of the wrist. All of these devices are powered by shape memory alloy actuators, enabling them to be quiet, lightweight and discreet wearable interfaces, unlike their vibrotactile or servo-motor driven counterparts.

We investigate the potential for these devices to be used in mediated social touch interactions by conducting preliminary psychometric tests measuring affective response. The Pinch device and Squeeze wristband were found to
simulate positive affective touch sensations, particularly in comparison to vibrotactile stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberLBW055
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCHI '20: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • tactile devices and interfaces
  • wearables
  • mediated social touch

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