Work, discussion, theory around physical haptics on touch devices?

25 Mar 2008 - 11:56am
6 years ago
4 replies
1008 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Hey there,

My team is being pushed to work out haptic solutions (heck we are motorola
and we have an amazing collection of haptic IP on the ROKR for example) for
a new product I'm working on.

After several months of iPhone use my own heuristic evaluation is that audio
is much more helpful that haptic responses. I've used various LG products as
comparison and of course the Moto products. I know that Samsung and Nokia
are investing in Immersion's vibration technology.

But again, since none of this aid in target acquisition, touch screen
sensitivity, or help with blind actions, I'm not convinced of the total
value of doing this tremendous amount of engineering work to make it
effective.

What do people think and what experiences do people have?

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

25 Mar 2008 - 12:48pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I also believe that audio is more effective, particularly when evaluated out
of the context of use.
No research or design experience to draw upon here, but in my home office, I
use the audio alerts. At work, never... likely because I find other's use to
be disruptive and distracting. The only way to cancel them out is with
headphones, which tends to divide an otherwise collaborative workspace.
Also, when I get a new phone or iPod, the first thing I do is to turn off
all of the audio alerts.
Mark

On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 1:56 PM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey there,
>
> My team is being pushed to work out haptic solutions (heck we are motorola
> and we have an amazing collection of haptic IP on the ROKR for example)
> for
> a new product I'm working on.
>
> After several months of iPhone use my own heuristic evaluation is that
> audio
> is much more helpful that haptic responses. I've used various LG products
> as
> comparison and of course the Moto products. I know that Samsung and Nokia
> are investing in Immersion's vibration technology.
>
> But again, since none of this aid in target acquisition, touch screen
> sensitivity, or help with blind actions, I'm not convinced of the total
> value of doing this tremendous amount of engineering work to make it
> effective.
>
> What do people think and what experiences do people have?
>
> -- dave
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

25 Mar 2008 - 3:37pm
lists
2006

As I come from a haptics background, I'm quite interested in mobile applications of haptics. But I have to agree, there hasn't been anything particularly exciting in mobile haptics as of yet. I've played with a number of the devices mentioned (certainly not all of them), but I'm with you, the haptics are of marginal use.

However, I do believe that there is tremendous potential for haptics on mobile devices. But it's a difficult problem and really, the technology is still very, very young (especially for mobile). Studies have shown tremendous usability gains in desktop and other non-mobile haptics environments and I think the fundamental issues are similar for mobile. If nothing else, one of the greatest criticisms of the iPhone UI has been the lack of haptic sensations when using the touchscreen. And that's exactly what haptic technologies are hoping to address.

One thing I've noticed so far is that most mobile haptic effects tend to be task confirmation signals. You touch a button - it vibrates, you move between list items - it vibrates. As Dave pointed out, there's nothing to help users get in position to perform a task. So that's one of the major design challenges for mobile haptics. How to use it in helping to guide processes rather than just comfirm them.

As an off-the-top-of-my-head example, what if the iPhone keyboard gave a haptic sensation as you move your finger across keys? I sometimes find myself contacting the keyboard, seeing I'm touching the wrong letter, then sliding my finger to the correct letter. I think some haptic feedback for when I'm in the proper space of the new letter would be helpful. I think this would be especially useful when doing the touch and hold to get to non-alpha characters.

Another place where good haptics might be useful is in moving through lists. I can imagine getting vibrations that correlate to how fast you slide the list, or how hard you flick the list. That would make it a really rich physical experience.

This turned out longer than I planned. To sum up: I think mobile haptics now are not so useful, but there is tremendous potential.

25 Mar 2008 - 4:06pm
Jeff Howard
2004

I'd check out Camille Moussette's research into haptic interfaces
from Umea.

http://www.hapi-project.com/

He rounds up a lot of interesting references on his site. Also, be
sure to download his presentation from Sketching in Hardware 2007:
http://www.sketching07.com/participants.html

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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25 Mar 2008 - 5:09pm
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

Hi David,

audio is definitely not enough in my experience. You will have
environments where ambient noise will mask audio feedback, and then in
a silent environment it may be undesirable to make clicking noises.
Haptic feedback doesn't suffer from that issue.

I had the chance to try a product with a development firmware where
haptics where for some reason disabled, and soon after that I got the
next firmware version with the haptics enabled. I could definitely
feel a positive difference, and I think it's worth the effort.

Cheers,
Alex

On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 5:56 PM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey there,
>
> My team is being pushed to work out haptic solutions (heck we are motorola
> and we have an amazing collection of haptic IP on the ROKR for example) for
> a new product I'm working on.
>
> After several months of iPhone use my own heuristic evaluation is that audio
> is much more helpful that haptic responses. I've used various LG products as
> comparison and of course the Moto products. I know that Samsung and Nokia
> are investing in Immersion's vibration technology.
>
> But again, since none of this aid in target acquisition, touch screen
> sensitivity, or help with blind actions, I'm not convinced of the total
> value of doing this tremendous amount of engineering work to make it
> effective.
>
> What do people think and what experiences do people have?
>
> -- dave
>
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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