Skin Reading: encoding text in a 6-channel haptic display

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This paper investigates the communication of natural language messages using a wearable haptic display. Our research spans both the design of the haptic display, as well as the methods for communication that use it. First, three wearable configurations are proposed basing on haptic perception fundamentals. To encode symbols, we devise an overlapping spatiotemporal stimulation (OST) method, that distributes stimuli spatially and temporally with a minima gap. An empirical study shows that, compared with spatial stimulation, OST is preferred in terms of recall. Second, we propose an encoding for the entire English alphabet and a training method for letters, words and phrases. A second study investigates communication accuracy. It puts four participants through five sessions, for an overall training time of approximately 5 hours per participant. Results reveal that after one hour of training, participants were able to discern 16 letters, and identify two- and three-letter words. They could discern the full English alphabet (26 letters, 92% accuracy) after approximately three hours of training, and after five hours participants were able to interpret words transmitted at an average duration of 0.6s per word.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISWC '16 Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation of Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4460-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: 12 Sep 201616 Sep 2016


ConferenceACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers


  • haptic interfaces
  • Experimental evaluation


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