We present Miniature Haptics, a new approach to providing realistic haptic experiences by applying miniaturized haptic feedback to hand-based, embodied avatars. By shrinking haptics to a much smaller scale, Miniature Haptics enables the exploration of new haptic experiences that are not practical to create at the full, human-body scale. Using Finger Walking in Place (FWIP) as an example avatar embodiment and control method, we first explored the feasibility of Miniature Haptics then conducted a human factors study to understand how people map their full-body skeletal model to their hands. To understand the user experience of Miniature Haptic, we developed a miniature football haptic display, and results from our user study show that Miniature Haptics significantly improved the realism and enjoyment of the experience and is preferred by users (p < 0.05). In addition, we present two miniature motion platforms supporting the haptic experiences of: 1) rapidly changing ground height for platform jumping games such as Super Mario Bros and 2) changing terrain slope. Overall, Miniature Haptics makes it possible to explore novel haptic experiences that have not been practical before.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems