Investigating the communication of emotions through multimodal technologies and gestures

R Kuber, S Sulaiman, Ann Blandford
in 20th BCS HCI Group Conference: HCI 2006, Conference paper (text), Lancaster, UK


© BCS HCI Group Conference: Engage, HCI 2006.All right reserved. In human-human interactions, touch is an important means of communicating emotional content. Touch-based technologies may have a role to play in augmenting computer-mediated communications, such as Chat and Instant Messaging. The study reported here investigated whether emotions could be effectively understood via haptic and gestural interfaces. Each interface was developed to communicate a specific emotion, based on established descriptions of the visual and gestural representations of positive and negative emotions. Sixteen subjects were asked to identify the emotion being expressed by reference to 'emo-cards' which displayed a larger range of emotions. Participants successfully identified the emotion of surprise, were partially successful in identifying happiness and disgust, but were unable to reliably identify sadness. We outline a programme of further research to determine which emotions can be reliably communicated, and how to design effective representations for communicating those emotions.