Emotion plays a key role in the emerging wave of immersive, multi-sensory audience news engagement experiences. Since emotions can be triggered by somatosensory feedback, in this work we explore how augmenting news video watching with haptics can influence affective perceptions of news. Using a mixed-methods approach, we design and evaluate FeelTheNews, a prototype that combines vibrotactile and thermal stimulation (Matching, 70Hz/20° C, 200Hz/40° C) during news video watching. In a within-subjects study (N=20), we investigate the effects of haptic stimulation and video valence on perceived valence, emotion intensity, comfort, and overall haptic experiences. Findings showed: (a) news valence and emotion intensity ratings were not affected by haptics, (b) no stimulation was more comfortable than including stimulation, (c) attention and engagement with the news can override haptic sensations, and (d) users’ perceived agency over their reactions is critical to avoid distrust. We contribute cautionary insights for haptic augmentation of the news watching experience.

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CHI EA '23: Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Ooms, S.C, Lee, M, César Garcia, P.S, & El Ali, A. (2023). FeelTheNews: Augmenting affective perceptions of news videos with thermal and vibrotactile stimulation. In CHI EA: Extended Abstracts of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1–8). doi:10.1145/3544549.3585638