The Case for Haptic Props: Shape, Weight and Vibro-tactile Feedback

White, M and Gain, J and Vimont, U and Lochner, D (2019) The Case for Haptic Props: Shape, Weight and Vibro-tactile Feedback, Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion, Interaction and Games 2019, 28-30 October 2019, Newcastle upon Tyne, ACM.

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The use of haptic props in a virtual environment setting is purported to improve both user immersion and task performance. While the efficacy of various forms of haptics has been tested through user experiments, this is not the case for hand-held tool props, an important class of input device with both gaming and non-gaming applications. From a cost and complexity of implementation perspective it is also worth investigating the relative benefits of the different types of passive and active haptics that can be incorporated into such props. Accordingly, in this paper we present the results of a quantitative user experiment (n = 42) designed to assess a typical VR controller against passive, weighted, and active-haptic versions of a tracked prop, measured according to game experience, performance, and stance adopted by participants. The task involved playing a VR baseball game and the prop was a truncated baseball bat. We found a statistically significant improvement (at alpha = 0.05) with medium to large effect size (r > 0.38) for certain aspects of game experience (competence, immersion, flow, positive affect), performance (mean hit distance) and pose (two-handed grip) for the weighted prop over a generic controller, and in many cases over the unweighted passive prop as well. There was no significant difference between our weighted prop and the active-haptic version. This suggests that, for batting and striking tasks, tool props with passive haptics improve user experience and task performance but only if they match the weight of the original real-world tool, and that such weighting is more important than simple vibro-tactile style force-feedback.

Item Type: Conference paper
Subjects: Computing methodologies > Computer graphics
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 15:31

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