“The body’s surface as a multimedia interface: closed-eyes nonverbal telehaptic communication” by Meyer

  • ©William Meyer

  • ©William Meyer

  • ©William Meyer




    The body's surface as a multimedia interface: closed-eyes nonverbal telehaptic communication



    Closed-eye internal experiences, such as meditative and lucid dreaming states, may be rich and deeply profound or distressingly dark, yet are always solitary. Computer generated tactile (haptic) sensations over networks, known as “telehaptics,” may be a technological stepping-stone for exploring communication or empathetic sharing of such intangible content. Two networked prototypes were developed to prove the concept that real-time dynamic physiological measures made during such private experiences can be harnessed to provide channels of nonverbal communication between remote individuals. Communication between users is achieved by sensing subtle volitional muscle movements, breathing, and heartbeats, then presenting this information to the other user, via subtle haptic and sound cues. More subtle real-time biometric measures (similarly affected by changing thoughts and emotions) could be output as mild thermo-, vibro-, and/or electro-tactile stimulation on a distant partner’s bodily surface. What one’s body might “understand” from another in this unique way is an intriguing area for further research.


    Meyer, W. 2003. Immersive Virtual Reality as a Countermeasure for Dysphoria in Space and Expeditionary Environments. In Proceedings of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2003 Conference and Exhibition (Long Beach, CA). AIAA paper 2003–6032


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