A Comparison of the Effects of Haptic and Visual Feedback on Presence in Virtual Reality

Gibbs, Janet K.; Gillies, Marco and Pan, Xueni. 2022. A Comparison of the Effects of Haptic and Visual Feedback on Presence in Virtual Reality. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 157, 102717. ISSN 1071-5819 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In the current consumer market, Virtual reality experiences are predominantly generated through visual and auditory feedback. Haptics are not yet well established, but are increasingly introduced to enhance the user’s sense of ‘reality’. With haptic (vibrotactile) feedback now part of the built-in mechanism of VR consumer devices, there is an urgent need to understand how different modalities work together to improve the user experience. This paper reports an experiment that explores the contributions made to participants’ sense of presence by haptic and visual feedback in a virtual environment. Participants experienced a virtual ball bouncing on a virtual stick resting across their avatar hands. We found that presence was enhanced when they could both see and feel the ball’s action; with a strong suggestion that haptic feedback alone gave rise to a greater sense of presence than visual alone. Similarly, whilst visual or bimodal feedback enhanced participants’ ability to locate where the ball bounced on the stick, our results suggest that the action itself was more readily discerned haptically than visually.

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Additional Information:

This research is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under Grant No: EP/L015846/1 (http://iggi.org.uk/).


Presence, Perceptual feedback, Visual feedback, Haptic feedback, Sensorimotor contingencies (SMCs)

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10 September 2021Accepted
22 September 2021Published Online
January 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Oct 2021 12:16

Last Modified:

11 Oct 2021 12:16

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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