Providing users with rich sensations is beneficial to enhance their immersion in Virtual Reality (VR) environments. Wetness is one such imperative sensation that affects users' sense of comfort and helps users adjust grip force when interacting with objects. Researchers have recently begun to explore ways to create wetness illusions, primarily on a user's face or body skin. In this work, we extended this line of research by creating wetness illusion on users' fingertips. We first conducted a user study to understand the effect of thermal and tactile feedback on users' perceived wetness sensation. Informed by the findings, we designed and evaluated a prototype---Mouillé---that provides various levels of wetness illusions on fingertips for both hard and soft items when users squeeze, lift, or scratch it. Study results indicated that users were able to feel wetness with different levels of temperature changes and they were able to distinguish three levels of wetness for simulated VR objects. We further presented applications that simulated an ice cube, an iced cola bottle, and a wet sponge, etc, to demonstrate its use in VR.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems