Effect of waveform in haptic perception of electrovibration on touchscreens

Yasemin Vardar, Burak Güçlü, Cagatay Basdogan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The perceived intensity of electro vibration can be altered by modulating the amplitude, frequency, and waveform of the input voltage signal applied to the conductive layer of a touchscreen. Even though the effect of the first two has been already investigated for sinusoidal signals, we are not aware of any detailed study investigating the effect of the waveform on our haptic perception in the domain of electrovibration. This paper investigates how input voltage waveform affects our haptic perception of electrovibration on touchscreens. We conducted absolute detection experiments using square wave and sinusoidal input signals at seven fundamental frequencies (15, 30, 60, 120, 240, 480 and 1920 Hz). Experimental results depicted the well-known U-shaped tactile sensitivity across frequencies. However, the sensory thresholds were lower for the square wave than the sinusoidal wave at fundamental frequencies less than 60 Hz while they were similar at higher frequencies. Using an equivalent circuit model of a finger-touchscreen system, we show that the sensation difference between the waveforms at low fundamental frequencies can be explained by frequency-dependent electrical properties of human skin and the differential sensitivity of mechanoreceptor channels to individual frequency components in the electrostatic force. As a matter of fact, when the electrostatic force waveforms are analyzed in the frequency domain based on human vibrotactile sensitivity data from the literature [15], the electrovibration stimuli caused by square-wave input signals at all the tested frequencies in this study are found to be detected by the Pacinian psychophysical channel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHaptics
Subtitle of host publicationPerception, Devices, Control, and Applications - 10th International Conference, EuroHaptics 2016, Proceedings
EditorsHiroyuki Kajimoto, Fernando Bello, Yon Visell
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319423203
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications, EuroHaptics 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20167 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications, EuroHaptics 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Electrostatic forces
  • Electrovibration
  • Perception
  • Sinusoidal waves
  • Square
  • Waveform

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