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Addressing the sense of touch with haptic feedback in augmented and virtual reality applications has recently proved to enhance the immersive experience and has attracted tremendous attention from both academia and industry.
Furthermore, haptics as a research field has been increasingly growing in the last years. This is shown by the multiplicity of haptic devices that have been researched and developed to render haptic feedback for purposes such as accessibility, motor training, education or entertainment.
Haptic feedback tries to mimic various types of human sensations of weight, textures, temperatures and even pain. Particularly for VR development, it is crucial to simulate realistic tactile and kinesthetic interactions with virtual environments and objects for immersive user experiences.
Commercial haptic gloves are mainly designed to provide force feedback and in some cases also texture sensation in specific VR applications like simulation-based pilot training. From the texture sensation perspective, existing devices have focused on simulating the feel of solid objects in VR.
However, the research on liquid-based haptic experiences is still in its infancy, with only a few examples available.
Aalto University’s Wearable Systems Lab will aim for the exploration and simulation of multimodal thermal and liquid experiences and its effect on emotions, immersion and embodiment in VR by creating textile-based wearable haptic interfaces. Project objectives are:
Understand how emotions, feeling of immersion and embodiment can be enhanced through such haptic interfaces
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