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Peripheral vibro-tactile displays

Martin Pielot, Rodrigo de Oliveira

Peripheral vibro-tactile displays

ACM, Proceedings of the 15th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services, August 2013



We report from a study exploring the boundaries of the pe- ripheral perception of vibro-tactile stimuli. For three days, we exposed 15 subjects to a continual vibration pattern that was created by a mobile device worn in their trouser pocket. In order to guarantee that the stimuli would not require the sub- jects focal attention, the vibration pattern was tested and refined to minimise its obtrusiveness, and during the study, the participants adjusted its intensity to just above their personal detection threshold. At random times, the vibration stopped and participants had to acknowledge these events as soon as they noticed them. Only 6.5% of the events were acknowledged fast enough to assume that the cue had been on the focus of the participants’ attention. The majority of events were answered between 1 and 10 minutes, which indicates that the participants were aware of the cue without focussing on it. In addition, participants reported not to be annoyed by the signal in 94.4% of the events. These results provide evidence that vibration patterns can form non-annoying, lightweight information displays, which can be consumed at the periphery of a users attention. 

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