Haptic Feedback Systems in Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Quality and Efficiency in e-Learning: Proceedings of the Interantional Scientific Conference on e-Learning and Software for Education




Haptics is the science of merging tactile sensation with computer applications, thereby enabling users to receive feedback they can feel (in addition to auditory and visual cues). Multimodal environments where visual, auditory and haptic stimuli are present convey information more efficiently since the user manipulates and experiences the environment through multiple sensory channels. The availability of haptic systems enables the augmentation of traditional instruction with interactive interfaces offering enhanced motivation and intellectual stimulation. Although the haptic devices have not made large in roads into education, we believe that the potential for revolutionary change now exists due to the recent availability of both the hardware and software components. This paper brings into discussion some of the most relevant technological issues involving haptic systems in education. One of these issues is choosing the suitable haptic hardware, API or framework for developing a visuo-haptic e-Learning system. The decision is based on several criteria such as multimodal resources needed by the software system, compatibility with haptic devices, dynamic configuration of the scene, and so on. Another issue is related to the software system reactivity at the user actions. The immediate haptic feedback from virtual models, together with the synchronisation of haptic and visual cues generated by computer to its users are essential for enhancing the user's learning path. Providing realistic visuo-haptic models as much as it is possible is also another problem that the development of the haptic e-learning system should deal with. Such models help to obtain accurate training scenarios developed for the teaching, for example, of medical protocols, or chemical or physical processes.