Research Institute of Visual Computing

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Review of Designs for Haptic Data Visualization

Authors: Sabrina Pan¨eels, and Jonathan C. Roberts

DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2009.44


There are many different uses for haptics, such as training medical practitioners, teleoperation or navigation of virtual environments. This review focuses on haptic methods that display data. The hypothesis is that, haptic devices can be used to present information, and consequently the user gains quantitative, qualitative or holistic knowledge about the presented data. Not only is this useful for users who are blind or partially sighted (who can feel line graphs, for instance), but the haptic modality can be used alongside other modalities, to increase the amount of variables being presented, or to duplicate some variables to reinforce the presentation. Over the last twenty years a significant amount of research has been done in haptic data presentation; e.g. researchers have developed force-feedback line-graphs, bar-charts and other forms of haptic representations. However, previous research is published in different conferences and journals, with different application emphases. This article gathers and collates these various designs to provide a comprehensive review of designs for haptic data visualization. The designs are classified by their representation: Charts, Maps, Signs, Networks, Diagrams, Images and Tables.

This review provides a comprehensive reference for researchers and learners, and highlights areas for further research.


Link to Paper


Prof Jonathan C Roberts

Prof Jonathan C Roberts

Jonathan is particularly interested in visual analytics, information visualization and exploratory visualization in a variety of topics (including Heritage, Oceanographic data, Social media)