Intensifying emotional reactions via tactile gestures in immersive films

Georgios Karafotias, Akiko Teranishi, Georgios Korres, Friederike Eyssel, Scandar Copti, Mohamad Eid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The film industry continuously strives to make visitors' movie experience more immersive and thus, more captivating. This is realized through larger screens, sophisticated speaker systems, and high quality 2D and 3D content. Moreover, a recent trend in the film industry is to incorporate multiple interaction modalities, such as 4D film, to simulate rain, wind, vibration, and heat, in order to intensify viewers' emotional reactions. In this context, humans' sense of touch possesses significant potential for intensifying emotional reactions for the film experience beyond audio-visual sensory modalities. This article presents a framework for authoring tactile cues (tactile gestures as used in this article) and enabling automatic rendering of said gestures to intensify emotional reactions in an immersive film experience. To validate the proposed framework, we conducted an experimental study where tactile gestures are designed and evaluated for the ability to intensify four emotional reactions: high valence-high arousal, high valence-low arousal, low valence-high arousal, and low valence-low arousal. Using a haptic jacket, participants felt tactile gestures that are synchronized with the audio-visual contents of a film. Results demonstrated that (1) any tactile feedback generated a positive user experience; (2) the tactile feedback intensifies emotional reactions when the audio-visual stimuli elicit clear emotional responses, except for low arousal emotional response since tactile gestures seem to always generate excitement; (3) purposed tactile gestures do not seem to significantly outperform randomized tactile gesture for intensifying specific emotional reactions; and (4) using a haptic jacket is not distracting for the users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Affective haptics
  • Immersive virtual reality
  • Multimodal interaction
  • Tactile gestures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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