Can feelings be stimulated through mid-air touch? And more importantly, can technology convey these feelings from one person to another over distance? As if out of a science-fiction novel, answers to these questions around haptics and emotions were recently provided by Dr Obrist’s group at the University of Sussex, in collaboration with Bristol University and Ultrahaptics.
A technology that can mediate emotions in this way has a variety of application opportunities, Obrist said, including opening up new ways of communication for deaf and blind people.
“A similar technology could be used between parent and baby, or to enrich audio-visual communication in long-distance relationships.”
“It could [be applied] either for one-to-one interactions, such as a discrete tactile system between a couple or friends using, for instance, wearable technology, or it could be used for one-to-many interactions, where we can create tactile sensations for many such as in a cinema to create more immersive viewing experiences,” she said.
“All that we now know is that there is a non-arbitrary emotional mapping for mid-air haptic stimulation but we still need to further validate this mapping” Subramanian, co-author, said.