A Vibrothermal Haptic Display for Socio-emotional Communication

Shubham Shriniwas Gharat, Yatiraj Shetty, Troy McDaniel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Touch plays a vital role in maintaining human relationships through social and emotional communication. The proposed haptic display prototype generates stimuli in vibrotactile and thermal modalities toward simulating social touch cues between remote users. High-dimensional spatiotemporal vibrotactile-thermal (vibrothermal) patterns were evaluated with ten participants. The device can be wirelessly operated to enable remote communication. In the future, such patterns can be used to richly simulate social touch cues. A research study was conducted in two parts: first, the identification accuracy of vibrothermal patterns was explored; and second, the relatability of vibrothermal patterns to social touch experienced during social interactions was evaluated. Results revealed that while complex patterns were difficult to identify, simpler patterns, such as SINGLE TAP and HOLD, were highly identifiable and highly relatable to social touch cues. Directional patterns were less identifiable and less relatable to the social touch cues experienced during social interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHCI International 2021 - Late Breaking Papers
Subtitle of host publicationMultimodality, eXtended Reality, and Artificial Intelligence - 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis, Masaaki Kurosu, Jessie Y.C. Chen, Gino Fragomeni, Norbert Streitz, Shin’ichi Konomi, Helmut Degen, Stavroula Ntoa
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783030909628
StatePublished - 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 24 2021Jul 29 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13095 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Social touch
  • Spatiotemporal patterns
  • Thermal display
  • Wearable tactile display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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