Defining Your Haptic Objectives
For every step in the scenario, it is important to define the haptic objective. This involves asking questions such as, what should be the key learnings or key analysis that can be derived from this step in my scenario? For less important steps, the haptic objective can be different from crucial steps. By defining your haptic objectives for each step of the scenario, you can then define your haptic preconditions.
Haptic preconditions are conditions that should be in place when the users execute the scenario. These preconditions are often linked to the haptic objectives and drive the cost of the solution. For example, if your haptic objective is realism throughout a large part of your scenario, but you want to have a high level of transparency as a precondition, it may require costly equipment to achieve this level of transparency.
Levels of Haptic Objectives
It is also important to understand the different levels of haptic objectives, ranked from low to high fidelity: immersion, skill transfer, presence, and realism.
Immersion involves haptic sensations that increase the user’s perception of being in the virtual environment. Skill transfer involves haptic sensations that help the user better understand and memorize a physical task. Presence involves haptic sensations that give the user a more realistic setting of the virtual world, enabling better judgments of real interactions within the virtual environment. Finally, realism involves haptic sensations that are as close as possible to the real tactile experience.
Additionally, there are several haptic preconditions that should be considered when implementing a haptic XR experience. These include:
The haptic device should not limit the user in their movement. Wires, weight, and restricted movement make a device less transparent and can break the user’s immersion.
The haptic device should give the right tactile feedback. An overload of input or feedback that doesn’t match the visual or audio perception will degrade the immersion.
The usability of a device is very important and will influence the business objective. Consider the time of donning and doffing, time and ease of calibration procedures, and hygiene issues.
Haptics is in its early stage of development, and not all available devices are comparable with mass-market devices. Consider things like warranty and support packages when implementing haptic devices.
Safety can be an issue with haptic devices. You can be dealing with an active force feedback system that might when operated incorrectly, pull on and harm body parts. Also, some haptic devices make use of electric stimulation. If programmed or calibrated poorly, this could also hurt or harm its user.
In order to get measurable outcomes, haptics should be as consistent as possible. Calibration can influence consistency, and wearable haptics can twist or tilt, causing sensations to deviate from the intended experience.
The delay between the sensed collision by the collision engine and the felt haptic signal is crucial to the experience. Always test with your use case at an early stage if the latency of the haptic experience is acceptable for your haptic objective.
Defining your haptic objectives and haptic preconditions are crucial steps in implementing a successful haptic XR experience. By taking into account the different levels of haptic objectives and preconditions, you can ensure that your scenario is well-defined and that your users will have an immersive and safe experience.
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