University of Twente Student Theses


Haptic Wearables for Social Mediated Touch

Jonkergouw, E. (2021) Haptic Wearables for Social Mediated Touch.

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Abstract:A social touch is any interpersonal touch with a communicative intent. Social touch has a lot of benefits and is related to social bonding, decreased level of loneliness, stress relief. It is also a way of communication. However, social touch is a close-proximity interaction and cannot be experienced over a distance. Now, in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is advised to stay at 1,5 meter distance from everyone outside their household. This results in less social touch and less of its benefits are experienced. A haptic wearable for social mediated touch could be a solution, as it simulates a social touch over a distance. Normally, friends and family members are greeted with a hug. During the pandemic, this is not always possible. Therefore, a haptic wearable that simulates a short hugging sensation is developed. This haptic wearable aims to make greetings a more pleasurable experience, while keeping the advised 1,5 meter distance from one another. First, the wearables automatically connect with one another, with the use of Bluetooth. Second, a hug is sent by touching two capacitive sensors on the sleeves of the wearable. Third, the hugging sensation itself is simulated with the use of silicone inflatables and vibration motors. The wearable is created from an autoethnographic point of view. Furthermore, this bachelor thesis follows the Creative Technology Design Process, allowing quick iterations of the prototype. The wearable is evaluated using functional and systematic requirements. A user evaluation is conducted to see whether the functional requirements were met. The systematic requirements are evaluated by the researcher. Overall, the haptic wearable for social mediated touch was perceived positively and met almost all the established requirements.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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