Ever wanted to hold hands with your computer? Weird question I know, but a study from the University Of Sussex has used an Ultrahaptics system (the giant box in the picture) to communicate emotions, and it's shown some great results.
In the study, test subjects were split into two groups: one received stimulation in the form of a picture, the other was shown both a picture and "mid-air haptics" via the system. The team found out that the test group receiving haptic stimulation were connecting on a much stronger emotional level than those with just optical stimulation.
Dr Marianna Obrist, Lecturer at the Department of Informatics, has delved deeper into this too and figured out individual forms of hand stimulation to create different emotional responses. Hot bursts of air around the thumb, index finger or middle of the palm generate excitement, whereas stimulation of the outer palm and little finger create sad feelings.
Following this breakthrough, the European Research Council have sent a million-pound research grant to Dr. Obrist, so she can expand her research over the next five years. This will cover both taste and smell, in the hope this
Dr. Obrist has now received a million-pound research grant from the European Research Council for a five-year project to expand the research. It includes efforts in both taste and smell, with the aim to create the framework for a multi-sensory experience.
"Relatively soon, we may be able to realize truly compelling and multi-faceted media experiences, such as 9-dimensional TV, or computer games that evoke emotions through taste," Dr. Obrist comments.