, , , , & , Substitute buttons: Exploring tactile perception of physical buttons for use as haptic proxies,Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 8 (2024). DOI  PDF


Buttons are everywhere and are one of the most common interaction elements in both physical and digital interfaces. While virtual buttons offer versatility, enhancing them with realistic haptic feedback is challenging. Achieving this requires a comprehensive understanding of the tactile perception of physical buttons and their transferability to virtual counterparts. This research investigates tactile perception concerning button attributes such as shape, size, and roundness and their potential generalization across diverse button types. In our study, participants interacted with each of the 36 buttons in our search space and provided a response to which one they thought they were touching. The findings were used to establish six substitute buttons capable of effectively emulating tactile experiences across various buttons. In a second study, these substitute buttons were validated against virtual buttons in VR. Highlighting the potential use of the substitute buttons as haptic proxies for applications such as encountered-type haptics.

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