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Journal Articles Computers and Graphics Year : 2023

Design, evaluation and calibration of wearable electrotactile interfaces for enhancing contact information in virtual reality

Abstract

Electrotactile feedback is a convenient tactile rendering method thanks to reduced form factor and power consumption. Yet, its usage in immersive virtual reality has been scarcely addressed. This paper explores how electrotactile feedback could be used to enhance contact information for mid-air interactions in virtual reality. We propose an electrotactile rendering method which modulates the perceived intensity of the electrotactile stimuli according to the interpenetration distance between the user's finger and the virtual surface. In a first user study (N=21), we assessed the performance of our method against visual interpenetration feedback and no-feedback. Contact precision and accuracy were significantly improved when using interpenetration feedback. The results also showed that the calibration of the electrotactile stimuli was key, which motivated a second study exploring how the calibration procedure could be improved. In a second study (N=16), we compared two calibration techniques: a non-VR keyboard and a VR direct interaction method. While the two methods provided comparable usability and calibration accuracy, the VR method was significantly faster. These results pave the way for the usage of electrotactile feedback as an efficient alternative to visual feedback for enhancing contact information in virtual reality.
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hal-03991492 , version 1 (15-02-2023)

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Sebastian Vizcay, Panagiotis Kourtesis, Ferran Argelaguet, Claudio Pacchierotti, Maud Marchal. Design, evaluation and calibration of wearable electrotactile interfaces for enhancing contact information in virtual reality. Computers and Graphics, 2023, pp.1-15. ⟨10.1016/j.cag.2023.01.013⟩. ⟨hal-03991492⟩
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