Consonance Perception of Vibrotactile Chords: A Feasibility Study

  • Yongjae Yoo
  • Inwook Hwang
  • Seungmoon Choi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6851)


This paper is concerned with the perception of complex vibrotactile stimuli in which a few sinusoidal vibrations with different frequencies are superimposed. We begin with an observation that such vibrotactile signals are analogous to musical chords where multiple notes are played simultaneously. A set of “vibrotactile chords” are designed based on the musical chords, and their degrees of consonance (harmony) that participants perceive are evaluated through a perception experiment. Experimental results indicate that the participants can robustly rate the degree of consonance of the vibrotactile chords and establish a well-defined relation of the degree of consonance to the base and chordal frequencies of a vibrotactile chord. These findings have direct implications to the design of complex vibrotactile signals that can be produced by current wideband actuators such as voice-coil, piezoelectric, and electroactive polymer actuators.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ahmaniemi, T., Marila, J., Lantz, V.: Design of dynamic vibrotactile textures. IEEE Transactions on Haptics 3(4), 245–256 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bensmaïa, S., Hollins, M., Yau, J.: Vibrotactile intensity and frequency information in the Pacinian system: A psychophysical model. Perception & Psychophysics 67(5), 828–841 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brown, L.M., Brewster, S.A., Purchase, H.C.: A first investigation into the effectiveness of tactons. In: Proceedings of the World Haptics Conference, pp. 167–176 (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Goldstein Jr., M.H., Proctor, A.: Tactile aids for profoundly deaf children. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 77(1), 258–265 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    von Helmholtz, H.: On the Sensations of Tone. Dover Publications, Inc., New York (1954)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hwang, I., Choi, S.: Perceptual space and adjective rating of sinusoidal vibrations perceived via mobile device. In: Proceedings of the Haptics Symposium, pp. 1–8. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Israr, A., Choi, S., Tan, H.Z.: Detection threshold and mechanical impedance of the hand in a pen-hold posture. In: Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), pp. 472–477 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Malmberg, C.F.: Perception of consonance and dissonance in music. Psychology Monograph 3(2), 93–133 (1918)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Park, G., Choi, S.: Tactile effect design and evaluation for virtual buttons on a mobile device touchscreen. To be presented in the 13th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI). ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Park, G., Choi, S.: Perceptual space of amplitude-modulated vibrotactile stimuli. To be presented in IEEE World Haptics Conference (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Plomp, R., Levelt, W.J.M.: Tonal consonance and critical bandwidth. Journal of Acoustic Society of America 38, 548–560 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ryu, J., Jung, J., Park, G., Choi, S.: Psychophysical model for vibrotactile rendering in mobile devices. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 19(4), 1–24 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tan, H.Z.: Information Transmission with a Multi-Finger Tactual Display. Ph.D. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ternes, D., MacLean, K.E.: Designing large sets of haptic icons with rhythm. In: Ferre, M. (ed.) EuroHaptics 2008. LNCS, vol. 5024, pp. 199–208. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vickhoff, B.: A Perspective Theory of Music Perception and Emotion. Ph.D. thesis, University of Gothenburg (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongjae Yoo
    • 1
  • Inwook Hwang
    • 1
  • Seungmoon Choi
    • 1
  1. 1.Haptics and Virtual Reality Laboratory, Department of Computer Science and EngineeringPohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)Republic of Korea

Personalised recommendations