Passive Haptic Learning

Thad Starner
Caitlyn Seim

Passive Haptic Learning (PHL) is the acquisition of sensorimotor skills without active attention to learning. Vibrations are used to passively ‘teach' the motor skill and are typically delivered by a wearable, tactile interface. Our group has previously demonstrated Passive Haptic Learning of piano melodies and of typing skills for text entry on a unique 10-key keyboard. We now investigate whether Passive Haptic instruction facilitated by wearable computers may be a feasible method of teaching Braille typing.

Thad Starner

The Contextual Computing Group (CCG) creates wearable and ubiquitous computing technologies using techniques from artificial intelligence (AI) and human-computer interaction (HCI). We focus on giving users superpowers through augmenting their senses, improving learning, and providing intelligent assistants in everyday life. Members' long-term projects have included creating wearable computers (Google Glass), teaching manual skills without attention (Passive Haptic Learning), improving hand sensation after traumatic injury (Passive Haptic Rehabilitation), educational technology for the Deaf community, and communicating with dogs and dolphins through computer interfaces (Animal Computer Interaction).