Rich Tactile Output on Mobile Devices

  • Alireza Sahami
  • Paul Holleis
  • Albrecht Schmidt
  • Jonna Häkkilä
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5355)


In this paper we assess the potential of rich tactile notifications on mobile phones. Many mobile phone users use vibration output for various types of notification on their phone. Currently, tactile output in phones is limited to one single actuator that can potentially present patterns based on different vibration intensity over time. To explore the possible design space, we conducted experiments with up to 6 actuators included in a phone prototype to find out about the user experience that can be created with multi-vibration output in a handheld device. The dimensions of the resulting design space are comprised of the location of the active actuators, the intensity of the vibration, and the variation of these parameters over time. Based on several user studies and interviews, we suggest design guidelines for rich tactile output facilitated by several distinct actuators. We show where vibration motors should optimally be placed and that different information can be reliably communicated by producing different patterns of vibration output using a small number of actuators.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Oulasvirta, A., Tamminen, S., Roto, V., Kuorelahti, J.: Interaction in 4-second Bursts: The Fragmented Nature of Attentional Resources in Mobile HCI. In: Proc. CHI 2005, pp. 919–928 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Luk, J., Pasquero, J., Little, S., MacLean, K., Levesque, V., Hayward, V.: A Role for Haptics in Mobile Interaction: Initial Design Using a Handheld Tactile Display Prototype. In: Proc. CHI 2006, pp. 171–180 (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brewster, S., Chohan, F., Brown, L.: Tactile Feedback for Mobile Interactions. In: Proc. CHI 2007, pp. 159–162 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brewster, S.A., King, A.J.: An Investigation into the Use of Tactons to Present Progress Information. In: Costabile, M.F., Paternó, F. (eds.) INTERACT 2005. LNCS, vol. 3585, pp. 6–17. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown, M.L., Kaaresoja, T.: Feel Who’s Talking: Using Tactons for Mobile Phone Alerts. In: Proc. CHI 2006, pp. 604–609 (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chang, A., O’Modhrain, S., Jacob, R., Gunther, E., Ishii, H.: ComTouch: Design of a Vibrotactile Communication Device. In: Proc. DIS 2002, pp. 312–320 (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Poupyrev, I., Maryuyama, S., Rekimoto, J.: Ambient Touch: Designing Tactile Interfaces for Handheld Devices. In: Proc. UIST 2002, pp. 51–60 (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tan, H., Lu, I., Portland, A.: The Chair as a Novel Haptic User Interface. In: Proc. Workshop on Perceptual User Interface, pp. 56–57 (1997)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tsukada, K., Yasumura, M.: ActiveBelt: Belt-Type Wearable Tactile Display for Directional Navigation. In: Davies, N., Mynatt, E.D., Siio, I. (eds.) UbiComp 2004. LNCS, vol. 3205, pp. 384–399. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bosman, S., Groenendaal, B., Findlater, J.W., Visser, T., de Graaf, M.: Panos Markopoulos: GentleGuide: An Exploration of Haptic Output for Indoors Pedestrian Guidance. In: Proc. Mobile HCI 2003, pp. 358–362 (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Williamson, J., Murray-Smith, R., Hughes, S.: Shoogle: Excitatory Multimodal Interaction on Mobile Devices. In: Proc. CHI 2007, pp. 121–124 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brave, S., Ishii, H., Dahley, A.: Tangible Interfaces for Remote Collaboration and Communication. In: Proc. CSCW 1998, pp. 169–178 (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chang, A., O’ Sullivan, C.: Audio-Haptic Feedback in Mobile Phones. In: Proc. HCI 2005, pp. 1264–1267 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cholewiak, R.W., Collins, A.A.: Sensory and physiological bases of touch. The Psychology of Touch, pp. 23–60 (1996)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Geldard, F.A.: Adventure in Tactile Literacy (1956)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gault, R.H.: Progress in Experiments on Tactual Interpretation of Oral Speech. Journal of Abnormal Psychology (1965)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Geldard, F.A.: Some Neglected Possibilities of Communication. Science 131(3413), 1583–1588 (1960)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Annaswamy, A.M., Srinivasan, M.A.: The Role of Compliant Finger pads in Grasping and Manipulation and Control 5. Essays on Mathematical Robotics (1998)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Appelle, S.: Haptic perception of form: Activity and stimulus attributes. The psychology of touch, pp. 169–187 (1991)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alireza Sahami
    • 1
  • Paul Holleis
    • 1
  • Albrecht Schmidt
    • 1
  • Jonna Häkkilä
    • 2
  1. 1.Pervasive Computing GroupUniversity of Duisburg EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Nokia Research CenterOuluFinland

Personalised recommendations