Haptic Retargeting: Dynamic Repurposing of Passive Haptics for Enhanced Virtual Reality Experiences


May 12, 2016


Manipulating a virtual object with appropriate passive haptic cues provides a satisfying sense of presence in virtual reality. However, scaling such experiences to support multiple virtual objects is a challenge as each one needs to be accompanied with a precisely-located haptic proxy object. We propose a solution that overcomes this limitation by hacking human perception. We have created a framework for repurposing passive haptics, called haptic retargeting, that leverages the dominance of vision when our senses conflict. With haptic retargeting, a single physical prop can provide passive haptics for multiple virtual objects. We introduce three approaches for dynamically aligning physical and virtual objects: world manipulation, body manipulation and a hybrid technique which combines both world and body manipulation. Our study results indicate that all our haptic retargeting techniques improve the sense of presence when compared to typical wand-based 3D control of virtual objects. Furthermore, our hybrid haptic retargeting achieved the highest satisfaction and presence scores while limiting the visible side effects during interaction.

As presented at ACM CHI 2016 on behalf of:

  • Mahdi Azmandian, University of Southern California
  • Mark Hancock, University of Waterloo
  • Hrvoje Benko, Microsoft Research
  • Eyal Ofek, Microsoft Research
  • Andrew D. Wilson, Microsoft Research