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Impact of haptic 'touching' technology on cultural applications

Publication Date
  • Qa75 Electronic Computers. Computer Science
  • Qa76 Computer Software
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy


EVA2001 paper.PDF Brewster, S.A. Impact of haptic 'touching' technology on cultural applications. In Hemsley, J. and Cappellini, V. and Stanke, G. (Eds) Digital Applications for Cultural Heritage Institutions, Chap 30, pages pp. 273-284. Aldershot, England: Ashgate (2005) Glasgow ePrints Service 1 The Impact of Haptic ‘Touching’ Technology on Cultural Applications Stephen Brewster Glasgow Interactive Systems Group Department of Computing Science University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK Tel: +44 (0)141 330 4966, Fax +44 (0)141 330 4913 Email: [email protected] Web: Abstract New technologies from the area of virtual reality (VR) now allow computer users to use their sense of touch to feel virtual objects. Touch is a very powerful sense but it has so far been neglected in computing. State-of-the-art haptic (or force-feedback) devices allow users to feel and touch virtual objects with a high degree of realism. An artefact’s surface properties can be modelled so that someone using a haptic device could feel it as a solid, three-dimensional object with different textures, hardness or softness. These haptic devices could have a large impact on museums. For example: making very fragile objects available to scholars, allowing visitors who live far from museums to feel objects at a distance, letting visually-impaired and blind people feel exhibits that are normally behind glass, and allowing museums to show off a range of artefacts that are currently in storage due to a lack of space. This paper describes the background to haptics, some of the possibilities of haptic technology and how they might be applied to cultural applications. Keywords Haptics, force-feedback, human-computer interaction, museum applications, visual impairments, blindness. Introduction Haptic technology provides the possibility of

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