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Audio-Based Vibrotactile Feedback in Multimodal VR Interactions

Oscar Ariza; Felix Steiner; André Zenner; Frank Steinicke
In: Proceedings of the 29th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST-2023), October 9-11, Christchurch, New Zealand, VRST '23, ISBN 9798400703287, Association for Computing Machinery, 10/2023.


While consumer-grade virtual reality (VR) hardware can deliver immersive audiovisual experiences, these systems often lack the ability to display realistic haptic feedback, or incorporate cost-efficient vibrotactile actuators with very limited abilities to provide tactile feedback. To overcome these limitations, we introduce an approach based on audio-based vibrotactile actuators. Due to their wide frequency response and multiple resonant frequencies, they can provide more tactile details. In our implementation, every VR interaction uses standard audio clips to provide simultaneous auditory and tactile feedback, as well as coupled realistic physics simulations for the visual feedback. We evaluate our approach to assess the benefits on the user’s experience regarding various interaction scenarios in VR, comparing our approach to a simulated fixed-frequency actuator as a baseline. The results confirmed the benefits of our approach in terms of user preference, perceived realism, comfort, sense of agency, and texture perception. Furthermore, multimodal feedback resulted in the best user experience.

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