Toward Comfortable Texture Design

June 22, 2015 at Northwestern University
Workshop on IEEE World Haptics Conference 2015


Objectives: This workshop will discuss and design comfortable textures. It is composed of lectures, discussion,and a hands-on experience program of making various textures. Through this workshop, we expect that the participants will be interested in comfortable textures, understand the applicability and potentiality of comfortable textures, and have an idea for basic researches of comfort perception and applications into industrial products.

Significance and Impact: In World Haptics Conference 2013, we successfully conducted a workshop on tactile feeling evaluations. The present workshop focuses on comfort of textures. Comfortable textures add high value to products by adding human-friendly and/or luxury feelings. But there are many issues to design comfortable textures: how comfortable textures can be designed, whether there is a common physical factor among comfortable textures, etc.

Content: The workshop will have mainly two sessions. First session provides a chance to discuss about comfort. Here, participants will bring their favorite comfortable materials, and explain feelings and reasons why they are selected. Second session provides a chance to have an idea for comfort design. We will prepare texture-making kits. Participants will enjoy creating their own textures and evaluate textures each other.

Texture making kit and procedure to use it



Introduction: motivation and objectivities of this workshop



Lecture: tactile perceptual structure



Presentation of a comfortable texture by each participant*
Participants will bring their favorite comfortable materials to the conference and explain feelings and reasons why they are selected.


(Breake Time)


Creation of own texture**
(1)How to make (by Y. Tanaka)
(2)Making own texture (by each participant)
(3)Presentation of resultant texture (by each participant)
(4)Vote for comfortable texture




* We will inform participants before the conference. We also welcome participants who do not bring materials but want only to listen.
** The numbers of the making kits are limited (about 30 sets). If participants are too many, we will make groups.


The workshop will be of general interest to industrial or academic researchers on tactile design, tactile devices, and haptic perception, and artist and educators who are not familiar with haptics but who wish to establish haptic design and possible applications. Students who will start haptic researches are also welcomed audience.


Yoshihiro Tanaka, Nagoya Institute of Technology / JST, PRESTO
Tanaka received the Ph.D. in engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, in 2006. In the same year he worked as a research associate in Nagoya Institute of Technology. Currently, he is working as an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Engineering, the same university since 2009. He worked as a visiting researcher at Utrecht University in 2011. From 2014, he was a PRESTO researcher in the foundation of design of information infrastructure technologies harmonized with societies in Japan Science & Technology Agency. His research topics are quantitative evaluation of tactile feelings and tactile product design. He has often studied haptics under collaboration with manufacturing companies. Recently, he discussed the bidirectional relationship between touch behavior and tactile feelings.

Junji Watanabe, NTT Communication Science Laboratories / Tokyo Institute of Technology
Watanabe received the Ph.D. in information science and technology from the University of Tokyo in 2005. From 2005 to 2009, he was a PRESTO researcher in the foundation of technology supporting the creation of digital media content in Japan Science & Technology Agency. From 2009 to 2011, he was a Research Fellow in the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He became a Research Specialist in NTT Communication Laboratories in 2011. He is also working as a visiting associate professor in Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2012. He studies cognitive science and communication devices with applied perception. He has often exhibited workshops on haptics. Currently, he is studying the establishment of the principles for evaluating the quality of tactile sensations based on the spatial distribution of tactile onomatopoeic words. The hands-on-workshop held in this workshop was organized by him and hosted many times in Japan.

Shogo Okamoto, Nagoya University
Okamoto received the Ph.D. in information sciences in 2010 from the Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University. Since 2010, he has been an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University. His research interests include haptic interfaces and human factors. Currently, he surveyed the tactile dimensionality of physical properties of materials in order to determine a common structure for these dimensions. His review paper was published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 6, 2013.