Multimodal stimulation is capable of creating strong effects on users, because the effects of the various stimuli can reinforce each other. This form of stimulation can be used to enhance entertainment experiences, as well as well-being and relaxation experiences. The causes of these strong effects and the exact relation to intensity, spatial distribution and timing of the stimuli are the subject of many investigations. One example application is using haptic and tactile actuator elements to provide the player of a game with a more thrilling experience. Linked to the visual and auditory information of the game, haptic stimuli are provided. Haptics combined with audicons are also often applied for enhancing applications in mobile (phone) systems. However, the effects of multimodal and cross-modal stimulation (involving haptics) on the user experience and on user interactions has not yet been thoroughly studied in the context of entertainment, well-being and relaxation applications.
In this special issue, we want to address the specific effects of combined (multi-sensory) stimuli. Topics we want to address range from the effect of mutual timing in audio, video and haptic stimuli, through actuator technologies, to how such "more than the sum of the elements" effects of multimodal stimuli are created in a user's perception and how to evaluate these experiences and perceptions. Our guiding hypothesis is that an optimal user experience will be obtained by taking into account human perception, careful personalization, and intelligent optimization. The latter should be based on both general knowledge of human perception, and on (measured or inferred) knowledge of the individual user. Research on human perception will provide information on the basic capabilities and limitations of individual modalities but also on how combined information processing in multiple modalities operates. To this end, we plan a number of papers on the technologies employed, the psychological and physiological sensitivities of people and the algorithms used to optimize the effect of multimodal stimuli. This Special Issue is a follow-up of a satellite workshop of the International Conference EuroHaptics 2010, held in Amsterdam in July 2010.
We are especially interested in applications in the field of consumer health, well-being, and entertainment. Topics which will be considered include but are not limited to:
- Audio, video and haptic stimulation
- Influence of temporal and spatial patterns of (haptic) stimuli
- Relaxation, easing the mind, comforting
- Intelligence and algorithms to optimize the user experience
- Interaction paradigms especially suited for these application areas
- Mediated social touch
- Personalized tactile feedback
- Tactile stimulation for entertainment
Abstract submission: 1 September, 2010
Deadline for submissions: 10 October, 2010
Date of confirmation: 15 November, 2010
Final paper due: 15 December, 2010