experimental psychology and physiology, the word haptic refers
to the ability to experience the environment through active exploration,
typically with our hands, as when palpating an object to gauge its shape
and material properties. This is commonly called active or
touch (see Further Reading).
the words haptic and haptics are used to refer
to all touch and touch-related capabilities, including the ability to sense
the position and movement of one's limbs (commonly called kinesthesia
or proprioception, see Further Reading).
You can easily experience these capabilities by closing you eyes and noticing
how you can determine the position of your hands, arms and legs without
looking at them.
generally, Haptics is commonly used today to refer to the
science of touch in real and virtual environments. This would include
not only the study of touch capabilities in different organisms, including
humans, but also the development of engineering systems to create haptic
virtual environments. The latter subfield is commonly known as computer
haptics. This technology does for touch what computer graphics
does for vision. You can see an animation explaining the basics of computer
topic: Why is Haptics important?
Importance of the Sense of Touch in Virtual and Real Environments".
IEEE Multimedia 13(3), Special issue on Haptic User Interfaces for Multimedia
Systems, pp. 24-30. (2006).
2006 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission
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G. "Virtual Reality:
Touch / Haptics". In Goldstein B (Ed.), "SAGE Encyclopedia of Perception".
Sage Publications,Thousand Oaks, CA (2009).
Hayward V, Astley
OR, Cruz-Hernandez M, Grant D, Robles-De-La-Torre G. "Haptic
Interfaces and Devices". Sensor Review 24(1), pp. 16-29 (2004).
G. "Principles of Haptic
Perception in Virtual Environments". In Grunwald M (Ed.), "Human
Haptic Perception", Birkhäuser Verlag (2008). Legal
Grunwald M (Ed.),
"Human Haptic Perception",
Birkhäuser Verlag (2008).