UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Personalizing haptics : from individuals’ sense-making schemas to end-user haptic tools Seifi, Hasti


Synthetic haptic sensations will soon proliferate throughout many aspects of our lives, well beyond the simple buzz we get from our mobile devices. This view is widely held, as evidenced by the growing list of use cases and industry's increasing investment in haptics. However, we argue that taking haptics to the crowds will require haptic design practices to go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach, common in the field, to satisfy users' diverse perceptual, functional, and hedonic needs and preferences reported in the literature. In this thesis, we tackle end-user personalization to leverage utility and aesthetics of haptic signals for individuals. Specifically, we develop effective haptic personalization mechanisms, grounded in our synthesis of users' sense-making schemas for haptics. First, we propose a design space and three distinct mechanisms for personalization tools: choosing, tuning, and chaining. Then, we develop the first two mechanisms into: 1) an efficient interface for choosing from a large vibration library, and 2) three emotion controls for tuning vibrations. In developing these, we devise five haptic facets that capture users' cognitive schemas for haptic stimuli, and derive their semantic dimensions and between-facet linkages by collecting and analyzing users' annotations for a 120-item vibration library. Our studies verify utility of the facets as a theoretical model for personalization tools. In collecting users' perception, we note a lack of scalable haptic evaluation methodologies and develop two methodologies for large-scale in-lab evaluation and online crowdsourcing of haptics. Our studies focus on vibrotactile sensations as the most mature and accessible haptic technology but our contributions extend beyond vibrations and inform other categories of haptics.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International