TUFT-XR : exploring tactility for underfoot sensation with simulated fabric textures in extended reality.

Type of content
Theses / Dissertations
Publisher's DOI/URI
Thesis discipline
Human Interface Technology
Degree name
Master of Human Interface Technology
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Topliss, Jack

This thesis research focuses on the relationship between visual and tactile feedback and their impact on a person’s underfoot tactile perception of materials. Specifically, the research explores whether changing the visual appearance of materials affects a person’s underfoot tactile perception and which tactile perception is most affected by the change. Additionally, the study examines whether people are aware of changes in visual appearance when focused on other tasks. A mixed reality system was developed to answer these questions, and two tactile perception experiments were conducted.

The first experiment involved 18 participants rating three tactile properties (roughness, hardness, and stiffness) for four different flooring materials, each with four different virtual overlays. The aim was to determine whether visual appearance affects tactile perception and whether materials with different tactile properties are impacted differently. Results indicated that tactile perception was most impacted by changes in visual appearance for roughness, and less so for more extreme tactile properties.

The second experiment investigated whether users were aware of changes in tactile feedback when focused on a task in virtual reality. Eighteen participants walked around the experiment space standing on virtual objects, with two different materials covering the experiment flooring space. Nine participants each experienced virtual textures matching the flooring, and a single texture covered the experiment floor. Results showed that participants were more aware of walking between the different floorings when the visual appearance matched the flooring than when only a single texture was presented.

Overall, the research demonstrates that visual appearance can impact tactile perception, particularly for roughness. Users are more aware of changes in tactile feedback when the visual appearance matches the flooring. These findings have implications for the development of immersive technologies in various fields, including product design.

Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
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