Affective Haptics

Driven by the motivation to enhance emotionally immersive experience of communication in Second Life, we propose a conceptually novel approach to reinforcing own feelings and reproducing the communicating partner’s emotions through affective garment. The emotions detected from text are stimulated by innovative haptic devices.

Our goal is to enhance emotionally immersive experience of real-time messaging in 3D virtual world Second Life through haptic system. In the developed system, great importance is placed on (1) automatic sensing of emotions (2) visualization of the detected emotions (3) enhancement of user’s affective state, and reproduction of feeling of social touch by means of haptic stimulation.

For the automatic detection of emotions from text we developed an Affect Analysis Model, capable of recognition of nine emotions on the level of individual sentences, and integrated it into Second Life through the scripted 3D object EmoHeart. The developed system is intended for the influencing on communicating partners’ emotions (namely, ‘anger’, ‘fear’, ‘sadness’, and ‘joy’) by physiological changes, physical stimulation, social touch, and emotional design. In order to support the affective communication, we implemented several novel haptic gadgets.

Social touch through HaptiHug Interface

When people are hugging, they generate pressure on the chest area and on the back of each other by the hands, simultaneously. The key feature of the developed HaptiHug is that it physically reproduces the hug pattern similar to that of human-human interaction. The important feature of our system is that we integrate active-haptic device “HaptiHug” and pseudo-haptic touch simulated by haptic animation. Thus, high immersion into the physical contact of partners while hugging was achieved.

Project movie (Youtube)
Publication date 8 June 2009

Project members:
- Dzmitry Tsetserukou, Alena Neviarouskaya, Helmut Prendinger, Naoki Kawakami, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Susumu Tachi