FeelCraft: Software Plug-In Allows Users to Add Tactile Experiences to Media

Despite ongoing research into delivering haptic content, users still have no accessible way to add haptics to their experiences. FeelCraft is a software plug-in developed by researchers from Disney Research Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University that monitors events and states in the media and associates them with expressive tactile content using a library of feel effects (FEs). A feel effect (FE) is a user-defined haptic pattern that, by virtue of its connection to a meaningful event, generates dynamic and expressive effects on the user's body. The researchers compiled a library of more than fifty FEs associated with common events in games, movies, and other media, and used them in a sandbox-type gaming platform. The FeelCraft plug-in allows a game designer to quickly generate haptic effects, associate them to events in the game, play them back for testing, save them, and broadcast them to other users to feel the same haptic experience. The FeelCraft architecture supports both existing and future media content, and can be applied to a wide range of social, educational, and assistive applications.