Wearable Research Tool for Mediated Social Touch Research

Social touches are essential in interpersonal communication, for instance to show affect. Despite this importance, mediated interpersonal communication oftentimes lacks the possibility to touch.

A human touch is a complex composition of several physical parameters, but haptic technologies allow us to investigate the respective aspects in isolation. In this project, I designed and realised a wearable that is specifically aimed at investigating one of the main physical components of a touch: Temperature.

Heavest technical drawing

The resulting prototype is equipped with heat elements in the shoulder area, with can precisely be heated. It is accompanied by an application that allows manipulation of temperature in near real time, as well as programming temperature patterns.

This independent student project resulted in a publication, as well as a follow-up project in which the prototype was used for an experimental study. The wearable and application were designed and implemented by myself.

Heavest experimental setup

Pfab, Isabel, and Christian JAM Willemse. "Design of a wearable research tool for warm mediated social touches." Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 2015 International Conference on. IEEE, 2015.

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