Virtual Reality

, Volume 9, Issue 2–3, pp 203–213 | Cite as

Wearable vibrotactile systems for virtual contact and information display

  • Robert W. LindemanEmail author
  • Yasuyuki Yanagida
  • Haruo Noma
  • Kenichi Hosaka
Original Article


This paper presents a development history of a wearable, scalable vibrotactile stimulus delivery system. This history has followed a path from desktop-based, fully wired systems, through hybrid approaches consisting of a wireless connection from the host computer to a body-worn control box and wires to each tactor, to a completely wireless system employing Bluetooth technology to connect directly from the host to each individual tactor unit. Applications for such a system include delivering vibrotactile contact cues to users of virtual environments, providing directional cues in order to increase situational awareness in both real and virtual environments, and for general information display in wearable contexts. Through empirical study, we show that even a simple configuration, such as eight tactors arrayed around the torso, can be effective in increasing situational awareness in a building-clearing task, compared to users who perform the same task without the added cues.


Vibrotactile Tactile Wearable Feedback Human–computer interaction 



This research was supported in part by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Lindeman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yasuyuki Yanagida
    • 2
  • Haruo Noma
    • 3
  • Kenichi Hosaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Information Engineering, Faculty of Science & TechnologyMeijo UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.ATR InternationalMedia Information Science LabsKyotoJapan
  4. 4.ATR InternationalMedia Information Science Labs, Intelligent Robotic Communications LabsKyotoJapan

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