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Haptic feedback: best practices & use cases in VR and MR


Haptics includes the perceptions of touch and all the technologies to recreate digital touch sensations. There are several haptics technologies on the market, and not all of them are useful for XR use cases. Haptics feedback can enhance your XR experience if used properly.


If done right, haptics in XR can increase user engagement and immersion, as well as the sense of presence. Haptics can decrease user fatigue and dizziness caused by an imbalance of perceptions between reality and virtuality. It impacts positively effectiveness, for XR training for example.






HAPTICS USE CASES


To be more practical, we can illustrate the theory with use cases. There are five generic ones:

  • User interface feedback and confirmation

  • User immersion

  • Remote presence

  • User awareness

  • Notifications

UI Confirmation


We can take the example of buttons, or keyboards in real life. They give a touch feedback to confirm to the user after the interaction. By integrating haptics to an XR experience, this feedback can be reproduced, and therefore, enhance the UX of the user in VR.




User Immersion


A basic example of user immersion is the recoil of a weapon when a shot is fired in an XR game. If the user can feel this haptic feedback, then the experience is even more immersive. It also gives the opportunity to enrich haptic textures with specific perceptions. Enhance 360 videos with ambient effects, and enrich virtual 3D interactions.




Remote presence


When it comes to remote presence, it is about trying to compensate the absence of another individual, for example when hugging someone or shaking hands. Haptics can provide supportive sensations to support the experience.




Contextual Awareness


In simple words, use as a channel of communication. It can be used to give directions to the user or warn him that something is happening and act almost like a 6th sense. Indeed, information are supplied to the user through the sense of touch, without overcharging sight or hearing.



Notifications


Finally, there are notifications, and it is probably the most obvious and simple one. We almost all have a smartphone in our pocket and have therefore experienced haptic feedback through it. Well, it works just the same for XR. Haptics could be a way to give notifications to the user about events happening.




Do you want Haptics in your VR content? try Interhaptics!


You can try it in our demo available on Oculus Quest. If you want to add haptics to your projects, you can now join more than 900 students studied our Udemy course and start designing with Interhaptics!


Any questions? Join our haptic designer community on discord.




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