Smooth as Steel Wool: Effects of Visual Stimuli on the Haptic Perception of Roughness in Virtual Reality
Günther, Sebastian and Rasch, Julian and Schön, Dominik and Müller, Florian and Schmitz, Martin and Riemann, Jan and Matviienko, Andrii and Mühlhäuser, Max
Abstract: Haptic Feedback is essential for lifelike Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. To provide a wide range of matching sensations of being touched or stroked, current approaches typically need large numbers of different physical textures. However, even advanced devices can only accommodate a limited number of textures to remain wearable. Therefore, a better understanding is necessary of how expectations elicited by different visualizations affect haptic perception, to achieve a balance between physical constraints and great variety of matching physical textures. In this work, we conducted an experiment (N=31) assessing how the perception of roughness is affected within VR. We designed a prototype for arm stroking and compared the effects of different visualizations on the perception of physical textures with distinct roughnesses. Additionally, we used the visualizations’ real-world materials, no-haptics and vibrotactile feedback as baselines. As one result, we found that two levels of roughness can be sufficient to convey a realistic illusion.