CanHaptic Lab 3: Communicate Something with Haply

Zoom brainstorming with Raquel

Goal

The goal of this lab was to explore force-feedback designs on Haply and communicate an abstract message that has a high-level or effective meaning.

Brainstorming

I had an initial idea to explore how can I express the different states of mind. If you practice mindfulness, you might have felt the transitional feelings of relaxation, normalcy, and heavy-headedness during the course of time. My idea is to put it into a physical form.

Design One

For expressing the state of mind, we needed something that can be understood just with haptics but simple enough to not confuse the users. So, I decided to use a simple viscous box and thought of varying the damping value.

I am testing three very different damping values, ended up using: 250, 400, 650
//updating damp values using buttons
public void One(int theValue) {
damp = low;
}
public void Two(int theValue) {
damp = medium;
}
public void Three(int theValue) {
damp = high;
}
//triggering the damping only when inside the surface
if (s.h_avatar.isTouchingBody(a1)) {
s.h_avatar.setDamping(damp);
} else {
s.h_avatar.setDamping(10);
}
Code available here!

Design Two

Raquel and I also discussed the idea of expressing words — stuck, barrier, and out of control. We initially thought of implementing a bounding box around the cursor for expressing the feeling of being ‘stuck’, randomly forcing Haply in an unstable position to gave an idea of ‘out of control’, and adding a ‘barrier’ that you can cross when you try harder.

public void One(int theValue) {
damp = 0;
resetWallSensor(false);
}
public void Two(int theValue) {
damp = perturb;
resetWallSensor(true);
}
public void Three(int theValue) {
damp = sticky;
resetWallSensor(true);
}
void resetWallSensor(boolean value){
b1.setSensor(value);
b2.setSensor(value);
b3.setSensor(value);
}
Code available here!
Boolean novisual = true;

Reflection

When expressing words via haptics, you need to make them expressive yet focussed. For example, for the coffeeshop metaphor, Raquel designed an area with boxes haptically annotating a real coffee shop. When a user tested the texture, their views were somewhat based on the stationary boxes, not on the avatar damping which we mapped to express three states of mind. In my second design, my roommate ended up exploring the surrounding walls rather than the bounding box element with information.