F&P: Music through the Skin
This week's Food & Paper will be given by Paul Remache (Universidad de Málaga) on Haptic Stimuli.
Musical information can be transmitted to the user by means of haptic stimuli. These stimuli are generated by a device that consists of one or more vibrating actuators attached to strategic locations on the skin. Musical characteristics such as rhythm, tempo and dynamics are translated to vibrotactile stimuli by controlling the onset asynchrony, frequency and intensity of the vibrations. These haptic interfaces may be used by people with hearing impairment to feel music through the skin, or by people with no hearing issues to enrich the music listening experience. One of the most challenging design requirements of vibrotactile music interfaces is to convey meaningful stimuli. For instance, if a sad song is translated into vibrotactile music, the user would be expected to associate this stimulation with sadness. However, current designs do not usually consider a concise relationship between the signal rendering strategy and the emotional effect that a piece of vibrotactile music should have on the user. This research project focuses on the design of a haptic interface with vibrotactile feedback that conveys musical information by means of cutaneous stimuli known as tactile illusions. The advantage of implementing tactile illusions is that complex skin sensations that may effectively convey emotions can be obtained with a reduced number of actuators.
I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Master Degree in Music Technology and currently doing my doctorate studies in Mechatronics at the School of Engineering of the Universidad de Málaga - Spain. I also work as a lecturer and researcher at the School of Industrial Engineering of the Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica - Ecuador. My research interests are on mechatronics, music, human-computer interaction (HCI), sensory substitution and haptics.