Year

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Computing and Information Technology

Abstract

To achieve effective interaction between a human and a computing device or machine, adequate feedback from the computing device or machine is required. Traditionally, this feedback is delivered via visual displays and/or generated sounds. However, more recently, haptic feedback is increasingly being utilised to improve the interactivity of the Human Computer Interface (HCI).

Most existing haptic feedback enhancements aim at producing forces or vibrations to enrich the user’s interactive experience. This can make it possible to interpret or interact more effectively with a device and/or a remote or virtual environment. However, these force and/or vibration actuated haptic feedback systems can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear and only capable of delivering a limited amount of information to the user which can limit both their effectiveness and the applications they can be applied to.

To address this deficiency, this thesis explores the use of electrotactile feedback for HCI applications. This involves delivering haptic sensations to the user by electrically stimulating nerves in the skin via electrodes placed on the surface of the skin. The main benefits of electrotactile feedback is that it has no mechanical or moving parts, requires no-invasive surgery and can deliver haptic information to the user via a wide variety of sensations that are not available with existing vibrotactile or force feedback systems.

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