The researchers from Disney worked with human participants and a Carnegie Mellon University psychologist to establish a library of 40 feel effects matched to the descriptions that designers without a deep background in haptic effects could readily understand.
Ali Israr, senior research engineer at Disney Research Pittsburgh, said that currently there were no guidelines to design haptic experience, therefore they formulated a procedure that associated haptic patterns to events in the story the same way as they described these events with words and phrases.
The feel effects explored in the study ranged from common phenomenon, such as heavy rain or light rain, to more specific experiences, such as squeezing into a cockpit or feeling a hamster run across one's back.
The researchers began by designing preliminary feel effects for descriptions in everyday language. Participants had to read the description, experience the associated haptics, and then were asked to rate how well each effect matched the description.
Israr said there was general agreement between the groups, though some felt that effects gave the subjects more trouble than others and "Squeezing into a cockpit" and "squeezing into a cave" were low scoring effects and some people had a hard time differentiating between an elbow poke and a joystick poke.