Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 41–53 | Cite as

Use of tactons to communicate a risk level through an enactive shoe

  • Landry Delphin Chapwouo Tchakouté
  • David Gagnon
  • Bob-Antoine Jerry Ménélas
Original Paper


The use of the haptic channel in multimodal interfaces holds several advantages for communication, one of them being that it allows decreasing the load of the visual and auditory channels. Tactons are abstract messages that can be used to communicate non-visually. In this paper we describe a study in which we tested if a set of four tactons can be used to convey a risk level (four states) through an enactive shoe. To this end, two experiments have been run. In the first experiment with 14 participants, we used a multidimensional scale analysis to identify the six most different tactons from an initial set of 30 tactons. In the second experiment (with 38 participants), we evaluated participants’ ability to recognize four preselected tactons among these six. For each trial, participants had to perform 12 identifications (three times for each tacton) until they reached a score greater than 95%. The number of trials required and the completion time are analyzed. We found that the repetition significantly improves the recognition rate of tactons but does not speed up the completion time.


Human performance Communication Tactons Stimuli Recognition Iterative learning 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) from two discovery grants, numbered 418624-2013 and 418235-2012. We also acknowledge the financial support of SOVAR and the FUQAC. A special thanks, for the support provided by Dr. Martin J.-D. Otis while being a co-supervisor. We also acknowledge Ebangha L. and Kafunda D. for their reading and Ayena J. for his comments on the ANOVA analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC)QuebecCanada

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