Vibrotactile and Vibroacoustic Communications: Pairs in Interaction and Play. An Interactive Structure and Bodies in an Urban Environment

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We designed a vibrotactile vest and The Humming Wall, a vibroacoustic interactive furniture set in an urban environment to interact with each other. We developed the vibrotactile patterns in the vest as a form of vibrotactile language to convey information to the wearer. In addition, we designed a set of interactive movements on The Humming Wall that would trigger patterns on the vest and elicit sensations and encourage body movements onto the wearer’s body. We invited people to interact in pairs at The Humming Wall, with one at the wall and one wearing the vest (they later swapped roles). Actions by the one at the wall, such as swiping or knocking on the wall were repeated on the vest wearer’s body. In addition, participants could ‘feel’ (vibroacoustically) and hear their own heartbeats and breath rates at the wall. Methods: We conducted a field trial with 39 participants over a 5-week period. Participants wearing the vest (and their pair) completed a set of tasks. We logged use and responses, recorded all activities on video, and conducted post-experiment interviews and questionnaires. Results: The results depicted the participants’ experience, communication and connection while wearing the vibrotactile vest and interacting with the wall. The findings show convincing, strong and positive responses to novel interactions between the responsive vibroacoustic environment and the vibrotactile vest. Conclusions: This work constitutes the first field trial with people ‘working’ in pairs with a vibrotactile wearable responding to and driving vibroacoustic displays with an interactive vibroacoustic environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)585-605
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Pairs interacting
  • vibroacoustic
  • play
  • communication
  • haptic patterns
  • The Humming Wall
  • wearable computing
  • vibrotactile
  • connection
  • vibrotactile vest


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