Evaluating Tactile Fidelity of Resolution, Amplitude, and Algorithms for Grid-Based Tactile Sleeve Displays




Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Tactile displays have the potential to dramatically increase immersion and presence for users in Virtual Reality (VR) applications. For consumer VR systems, there is a need to increase the quality and fidelity of tactile feedback that is produced by light weight and low cost tactile display. In this research, several arm-based tactile sleeve displays were developed to investigate how certain characteristics of vibrotactile display design, such as spacing, resolution, amplitude, and tactile rendering algorithm can affect the fidelity of a tactile display device and the experiences of its users. The design of the tactile sleeve displays used in this research is grid-based, consists of an array of linear resonant actuator (LRA) motors. Linear resonant actuator is a type of voice-coil actuator that relies on the resonance of mass and spring elements to produce vibrations along a central linear axis. An elastic compression sleeve was used for attaching the LRA motors to the upper arm of the users. Several user studies were conducted to determine the interactions between displayed resolution, amplitude, tactile rendering algorithm and their produced tactile fidelity. In the tactile resolution study, the extended Tactile Brush algorithm was used to produce ten single-finger tactile patterns and whole-hand tactile patterns. Two displayed tactile resolutions (4-by-3 and 2-by-2) were compared and the results indicated that the extended Tactile Brush algorithm produces accurate whole-hand tactile patterns, while higher displayed tactile resolutions tend to produce more acceptable tactile patterns than lower resolutions. In the real-time tactile rendering algorithm study, the Syncopated Energy algorithm was developed, and the efficacy of this new algorithm was evaluated by comparing its recognition accuracy and perceived continuity with a traditional Grid Region algorithm. The Syncopated Energy algorithm was generally perceived to produce more continuous tactile motions, and the Grid Region algorithm provided higher recognition accuracy. In the interaction between amplitude and the rendering algorithms study, a highamplitude tactile sleeve display consisting of professional-grade C3-tactors was developed to determine whether higher amplitudes always produce greater recognition accuracy and improved continuity, whether rendering at very high amplitudes has any negative consequences. The results of using the high-amplitude tactile sleeve display indicated that, even at intensive level of amplitudes, recognition accuracy for both the Syncopated Energy algorithm and Grid Region of algorithm improved significantly, however, the perceived continuity was decreased significantly at intensive level of amplitudes. Based on the results of this research, several design guidelines were proposed to form the best practices for grid-based vibrotactile display designs in VR systems



Real-time rendering (Computer graphics), Tactile graphics, Virtual reality, Computer algorithms, Computational grids (Computer systems)