Table_1_Uncovering terra incognita in the AHD design space: A review of affective haptic devices.DOCX
Affective haptic devices (AHDs) have been developed with the aim of communicating touch acts, symbolic messages, emotions, and/or providing a sense of social awareness. Within AHDs, three categories can be distinguished: mediated social touch (MST), symbolic communication systems, and awareness systems. For each of these categories, prototypes have been developed and discussed in the literature. Each such prototype, however, describes but a small part of the design space of AHDs. What is lacking is a description of the design space itself—of all choices that can be considered during the design process. Such a description will allow for a more systematic exploration of AHD designs and provides a means of combining insights gained from individual point solutions (i.e., existing prototypes). Therefore, in this article, we provide a systematic description of the design space of AHDs and its underlying dimensions based on general (e.g., revisability or synchronicity) and AHD-specific (e.g., actuation type) communication system characteristics. This resulted in 17 design dimensions, each consisting of two or more categories (the design characteristics). Based on a systematic literature search from devices up to 2019, 89 AHD prototypes were identified, and each was classified on the design dimensions. The empirical analysis of where these AHDs are located in the design space revealed, first, that potentially interesting characteristics from mediated communication, such as revisability and reviewability, are underexplored in AHDs. Second, MST devices were found to often lack those system characteristics, such as real-time modalities, that seem crucial for providing the affordances needed to simulate social touch. In particular, when comparing symbolic and awareness devices to MST devices, we found the latter to more frequently lack some of the key characteristics of face-to-face communication (i.e., bi-directional and symmetric communication). Limitations and implications are discussed.