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VoxelHap: A Toolkit for Constructing Proxies Providing Tactile and Kinesthetic Haptic Feedback in Virtual Reality

Martin Feick; Cihan Biyikli; Kiran Gani; Anton Wittig; Anthony Tang; Antonio Krüger
In: ACM. ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST-2023), 36th, October 29 - November 1, San Francisco, Kalifornien, USA, ACM, 2023.


Experiencing virtual environments is often limited to abstract interactions with objects. Physical proxies allow users to feel virtual objects, but are often inaccessible. We present the VoxelHap toolkit which enables users to construct highly functional proxy objects using Voxels and Plates. Voxels are blocks with special functionalities that form the core of each physical proxy. Plates increase a proxy’s haptic resolution, such as its shape, texture or weight. Beyond pro- viding physical capabilities to realize haptic sensations, VoxelHap utilizes VR illusion techniques to expand its haptic resolution. We evaluated the capabilities of the VoxelHap toolkit through the construction of a range of fully functional proxies across a variety of use cases and applications. In two experiments with 24 participants, we investigate a subset of the constructed proxies, studying how they compare to a traditional VR controller. First, we investigated VoxelHap’s combined haptic feedback and second, the trade-offs of using ShapePlates. Our findings show that VoxelHap’s proxies outperform traditional controllers and were favored by participants.