The Influence of Passive Haptic Feedback and Difference Interaction Metaphors on Presence and Task Performance

Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments (2010), pp. 197-212, doi: 10.1162/pres.19.3.197
Experiments
Tasks
Findings

How do haptic force feedback and choice of haptic metaphor affect task performance and presence?

Variables

    Haptic Fidelity
  • haptics (on/off) - real rubber surface under the participant's hand or none.
Independent Variables
  • interaction technique - using either the user's hand or a stylus to press the virtual buttons.
  • sequence length - length of sequence that must be reproduced: four steps, six steps
System Info

Displays
Input Hardware
  • tracking system - two magnetic trackers (ascension flock of birds) to track head movements and set virtual viewpoint and to track user/stylus movement.
Software
None

Headphones

Participant Info

Participants were students at the Telecommunications Engineering School at the University of Málaga, were all experienced computer users, and had all never used VR devices before.

Total # Age Range Gender Balance
24 24 - 38

Users played a virtual version of the game Simon, where a circular device with four colored buttons emits a sequence through lighting the buttons and playing a particular sound associated with each button. Users then reproduced the sequence by pressing the buttons in the correct order. If the sequence input by the user was not correct, an error sound played and, one out of every four times, two virtual plates suddenly closed on the user's hand, making a clashing sound.

Interaction and Environment

Interface

Users either pressed the buttons with the stylus or with their hand (with fingers held together). Users could look around the enviornment, but only move their avatar with the stylus or their hand.

The environment consisted of a blank background dominated by the virtual Simon device, a toroidal shape with four differently-colored buttons radially dividing the top of the device. Two plates were shown above the device for closing on the user's hand (one out of four times) in the event of an error. The user was represented by either a hand or a pen cursor above the Simon device.

Dimensionality Scale Density Visual Realism
3D Small Low Medium
Metrics

  • presence - two questionnaires (presence questionnaire pq, slater questionnaire); trajectory of the hand during the two seconds after plates crashed together (or would have)
  • errors - number of errors (incorrect sequences)
  • time - time elapsed between button pressings
  1. There was a significant direct effect of haptics (on/off) on errors for a object manipulation task.

    Users made fewer errors in the haptic condition than in the non-haptic condition.

    Specificity: Somewhat general

  2. There was a significant direct effect of haptics (on/off) on time for a object manipulation task.

    Time taken per button press was lower for the haptic condition than for the non-haptic condition.

    Specificity: Somewhat general

  3. There was a significant direct effect of interaction technique on time for a object manipulation task.

    Users selected buttons by hand faster than with the stylus.

    Specificity: Somewhat general

  4. There was a significant interaction between haptics (on/off) and interaction technique on time for a object manipulation task.

    For the haptic condition, interaction technique did not affect time between button presses. But in the non-haptics condition, time between button presses was lower for the hand technique than the stylus.

    Specificity: Somewhat specific

  5. There was a significant interaction between haptics (on/off) and interaction technique on errors for a object manipulation task.

    For the haptic condition, interaction technique did not affect the number of errors. But in the non-haptics condition, there were fewer errors for the hand technique than the stylus.

  6. There was a significant interaction between haptics (on/off) and interaction technique on presence for a object manipulation task.

    Subjective presence ratings were worse in the combination of non-haptic and stylus conditions than in the other three conditions.

    Specificity: Highly specific