Using Dynamic Real-Time Haptic Mediation in VR and AR Environments

As VR, and AR become more popular forms of interaction with standalone and wearable computing systems, there is an inherent need to redefine the role of haptics in virtual environments. Complex virtual environments require more comprehensive tactile information. For this reason, primitive tactile signals currently being used in most commercial systems, need to give way to more precisely calibrated actuation, which is specifically designed for various applications. In this research we have extended the “Haptic Mediation” concept to test and improve haptic actuation for virtual interaction by developing a Dynamic Self-sensing and Actuation Architecture (DSAA) using Autonomous Haptic Devices (AHD). We have developed autonomous mobile versions of small haptic devices with embedded actuators, sensors, power sources as well as a radio communication channel (transceiver). These haptic devices can be attached to any part of the body to perform sensing and actuation. Our testing shows that this approach can improve users’ overall experience in VR games and that AHDs can create reliable, perceivable actuation signals even when the user is actively moving around.
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