Affective interactions: Developing a framework to enable meaningful haptic interactions over geographic distance
Affective haptics describes the physical experience of connecting emotionally with another person. Research on affective haptics and its application is sparse, so a framework comprised of the affective components of touch as well as their sensory scales is needed as the foundation for a reference tool to inform interaction designers. Such a framework requires first understanding which gestures and emotions are relevant followed by the structure of the relationship between gestures and emotions. Two pilot surveys were conducted to identify relevant gestures and emotions, and informed a third, formal survey to explore the perception of affective haptic components in consolatory interaction. This is needed due to the notable lack of vocabulary in the literature to describe affective touch. This work will ideally inform interaction design models for affective haptics and provide a basis for additional studies examining the relationships between affective and discriminative haptic components. Future work could quantify how different tactile variables of a gesture alter the perception of the emotional content.