We present HaptoBend, a novel shape-changing input device providing passive haptic feedback (PHF) for a wide spectrum of objects in virtual reality (VR). Past research in VR shows that PHF increases presence and improves user task performance. However, providing PHF for multiple objects usually requires complex, immobile systems, or multiple props. HaptoBend addresses this problem by allowing users to bend the device into 2D plane-like shapes and multi-surface 3D shapes. We believe HaptoBend’s physical approximations of virtual objects can provide realistic haptic feedback through research demonstrating the dominance of human vision over other senses in VR. To test the effectiveness of HaptoBend in matching 2D planar and 3D multi-surface shapes, we conducted an experiment modeled after gesture elicitation studies with 20 participants. High goodness and ease scores show shape-changing passive haptic devices, like HaptoBend, are an effective approach to generalized haptics. Further analysis supports the use of physical approximations for realistic haptic feedback.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Haptic feedback, Shape-changing interactions, Virtual Reality
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1145/3131277.3132179
Conference 5th ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI 2017
McClelland, J.C. (John C.), Teather, R, & Girouard, A. (2017). HaptoBend: Shape-changing passive haptic feedback in virtual reality. In SUI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (pp. 82–90). doi:10.1145/3131277.3132179