Haptic Tutor – A haptics-based music education tool for beginners



John Sullivan

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Ajin Tom, Ankita Singh, Martin Daigle, Fabrice Marandola, Marcelo M. Wanderley

Publication or Conference Title:

International Workshop on Haptic and Audio Interaction Design (HAID)


In this paper we introduce Haptic Tutor, a wearable haptic system for triggering vibrations on limbs of a student drummer aimed to help develop multi-limb independence. The system uses portable, wireless vibrotactile devices to display haptic information on drummers’ limbs. To asses the usefulness of the system, we analyse response time differences between stimuli and motor action (drum stroke). Our hypotheses are that the use of haptic stimuli will improve the temporal characteristics of performances, but also that the type of haptic stimuli will have an influence on performance results. To validate these hypotheses we conducted two experiments. The first one with 30 participants randomly distributed in three groups, each group performing simple drumming lessons involving both hands under a given condition (no haptics, haptic pulse and haptic ramp). Results show clear improvement in strike accuracy for both haptic conditions, most clearly in the haptic ramp condition. Using these results, a second experiment was carried out in which 16 other participants were randomly divided into two groups (no haptics and haptic ramp conditions) and asked to perform a more complex lesson, this time involving three limbs (two arms and right foot). Results of both experiments show clear improvement on strike accuracy (reduced asynchrony), but a less important difference on strike precision (inter-onset-interval deviation) for the haptic condition. We finally report on participants subjective comments, discussing the limitations of the current prototype.

Publication Details:

Conference Paper
Montreal, Canada

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