The Hedonic Haptic Player
Anna Vallgårda, Laurens Boer, Ben Cahill
In this design case we present the Hedonic Haptic Player—a wearable device that plays different patterns of vibrations on the body as a form of music for the skin. With this we begin to explore the enjoyability of vibrations in a wearable set-up. Instead of implementing vibrations as a haptic output for some form of communication we want to explore their hedonistic value. The process leading up to the Hedonic Haptic player served as a first step in getting a grasp of the design space of vibrotactile stimuli in a broader sense. This is reported as seven episodes of explorations. The Hedonic Haptic player is currently equipped with three compositions, including an ambient, a rhythmic, and a combination of the two. We explore the value of the experiences they afford through two types of design critique, one from external experts and one auto-critique. We conclude that the vibrotactile stimuli we have created seems to be an acquired taste but that they can indeed create some novel and enjoyable experiences.
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