Learning to Feel Words: A Comparison of Learning Approaches to Acquire Haptic Words

ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP)


Recent studies have shown that decomposing spoken or written language into phonemes and transcribing each phoneme into a unique vibrotactile pattern enables people to receive lexical messages on the arm. A potential barrier to adopting this new communication system is the time and effort required to learn the association between phonemes and vibrotactile patterns. Therefore, in this study, we compared the learnability and generalizability of different learning approaches, including guided learning, self-directed learning, and a mnemonic device. We found that after 65 minutes of learning spread across 3 days, 67% of participants, including both native and non-native English speakers, following the guided learning could identify 100 haptic words with over 90% accuracy, while only 20% of participants using the self-directed learning paradigm could do so.

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