A Vibrotactile Alarm System for Pleasant Awakening

Georgios Korres, Camilla Birgitte Falk Jensen, Wanjoo Park, Carsten Bartsch, Mohamad Eid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There has been a vast development of personal informatics devices combining sleep monitoring with alarm systems, in order to find an optimal time to awaken a sleeping person in a pleasant way. Most of these systems implement auditory feedback as the alarm signal, which is not always pleasant and may disturb other sleepers in the same space. In this paper, we present an adaptive alarm system that detects sleeping cycles and triggers the alarm signal during shallow sleep, in order to minimize sleep inertia. Since tactile sensation is associated with positive valence, vibrotactile stimulation is investigated as a silent alarm to enhance pleasant awakening. Three modulation techniques to render the tactile stimuli for pleasant awakening are considered, namely simultaneous, continuous, and successive stimulation. Two experimental studied are conducted. Experiment 1 studied exogenous attention towards tactile stimulation in a multimodal scenario (involving visual and haptic interactions) with fully awake individuals. Results from the attention task and the subjective valence rating suggest that the vibrotactile stimulation should be based on the continuous modulation, since this not only is very perceivable but also associated with positive attention. Experiment 2 evaluated the user experience with tactile stimulation patterns during sleep. Results confirmed the findings of experiment 1. Continuous modulation was rated highest for pleasant yet arousing sleep-awake transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8289328
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Vibrotactile stimulation
  • affective haptics
  • evaluation/methodology
  • haptic I/O
  • health care
  • pervasive computing
  • psychology
  • user-centered design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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