Improving shared experiences by haptic telecommunication

  • Takahashi K
  • Mitsuhashi H
  • Murata K
 et al. 
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Abstract

We investigated how interpersonal hap tic telecommunication would affect the impression of an experience shared with another person. We conducted a psychological experiment wherein two people watched a comedy movie at the same time but in distant locations. They were asked to press a button when they found the movie hilarious, and this produced a vibratory hap tic stimulation to the other person. Thus, the two people were able to interact with each other and know the other person's reaction through hap tic telecommunication. In one group, the hap tic stimulation was interrupted for 90 s during the movie presentation. We found that the number of button presses decreased during the interruption period, suggesting that the feeling of hilarity could be modulated by communication with the other person. A post-experiment questionnaire survey confirmed that the uninterrupted group tended to attribute the hilarious feeling they experienced to sharing with the other person, and also expressed stronger empathy towards the other person. These results suggest that hap tic telecommunication may alter the quality of shared experience and increase the intimacy felt towards the other person.

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