Marcia O’Malley, Rice University
Delivering Multi-Sensory and Multi-Scale Haptic Cues through Wearables
Written by Senam Tamakloe
The sense of touch involves skin receptors that detect various forms of stimuli. While scientists continue to recreate the sense of touch in virtual reality, a common design approach is stimulating touch sensations in the hands. However, unveiled robotic designs like the HaptX VR gloves are often bulky and cumbersome. Marcia O’Malley and her research group introduce an alternative approach for designing novel wearable devices that uses several haptic feedbacks (skin stretch, squeeze, and vibration cues) to the wrist and arm. These devices that simultaneously provide multiple cutaneous cues are a vast design improvement compared to everyday wearables that focus on a single vibration modality of feedback. O’Malley discussed the efforts to design novel wearable haptic devices (e.g., Tasbi and MISSIVE) that deliver the reliable perception of multi-sensory haptic cues. She presented ongoing challenges along with the current venture of exploring soft textile-based materials for constructing wearable haptic devices.