Perceptual Characterization of a Tactile Display for Live Electronic Music Performance : Designing a Vibrotactile Notification Tool for the CIRMMT Live Electronics Framework (CLEF)
Abstract: This study was conducted to assess physical and perceptual properties of a tactile display for a vibrotactile notification system within the CIRMMT Live Electronics Framework (CLEF), a Max-based modular environment for composition and performance of live electronic music. The tactile display was composed of two rotating eccentric mass actuators driven by a PWM signal generated from an Arduino microcontroller. Physical measurements using an accelerometer were carried out in order to estimate intensity and spectral peak frequency as function of duty cycle of the PWM signal. In addition, three user-based studies were conducted to estimate perceptual vibrotactile absolute threshold, differential threshold and temporal differential threshold. Obtained results provided us with precise guidelines that facilitate the design of perceptually robust vibrotactile stimuli for our tactile application. A set of eight simple tactons (vibrotactile icons) was defined, whereafter an absolute identification test was conducted in order to estimate mean tacton recognition rates. Results were promising; mean tacton recognition rate was found to be 74 %. Based on all findings described above, a Max-based prototype used for exploration of tactile stimuli was developed. The prototype contained a library of tactile notification presets to be loaded into CLEF, along with a simple tacton editor for design of customized tactile events.
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