The main research theme at the Kajimoto laboratory (a department of The University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan), is human/computer interfaces, especially tactile or cross-modal interfaces. Professor Hiroyuki Kajimoto [pictured] established the laboratory in April 2007, and since then it has produced a series of unique research projects – for example:
‘Facilitating a Surprised Feeling by Artificial Control of Piloerection on the Forearm,’ by S. Fukushima, and H. Kajimoto, published in AH’12, March 08 – 09 2012, Megève, France. The project investigated if it might be possible to induce ‘chill’-like sensations in human subjects by artificially inducing piloerection (goose bumps) electrostatically.
“We recruited six male participants, aged 21 and 22. We could not find any female participants who did not shave their forearm hair. The participants were tested alternately under the two conditions (audio without piloerection and audio with piloerection), and the whole process was repeated ten times.“
“As expected, both the amount of subjective surprise and the SCR value (duration index) increased significantly when piloerection was added to the audio emotional stimulation. After the experiment, some of the participants made the following comment: ‘chilly sensation was evoked on the whole body when audio stimulation and piloerection were presented, but it was not evoked with only audio stimulation’. This comment seems to reflect the experimental results. After the experiment, the investigator asked participants to verbally express the sensation of artificial piloerection. All participants stated that, ‘this sensation resembles a wind sensation’. Two participants said: ‘I felt like I was wearing aura or cotton’. Since participants had never previously experienced this piloerection, they used various haptic sensations to describe it”
Here’s a short movie about the work.
Coming soon: The Kajimoto laboratory – a partial profile (part 2)