Evaluation of Electric Muscle Stimulation Method for Haptic Augmented Reality

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Feb 5;23(4):1796. doi: 10.3390/s23041796.


Currently, visual Augmented Reality (AR) technology is widespread among the public. Similarly, haptic AR technology is also widely practiced in the academic field. However, conventional haptic AR devices are not suitable for interacting with real objects. These devices are often held by the users, and they contact the real object via the devices. Thus, they prevent direct contact between the user and real objects. To solve this problem, we proposed employing Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. EMS technology does not interfere with the interaction between the user and the real object, and the user can wear the device. First, we examined proper stimulus waveforms for EMS, in addition to pulse waveforms. At the same time, we examined the appropriate frequency and pulse width. The waveforms that we used this time were a sawtooth wave, a reverse sawtooth wave, and a sine wave. Second, to clarify the characteristic of the force presented by the EMS, we measured the relationship between the input voltage and the force presented and obtained the point of subjective equality using the constant method. Subsequently, we presented the bump sensation using EMS to the participants and verified its effectiveness by comparing it with the existing methods.

Keywords: electric muscle stimulation; haptic augmented reality; waveforms.

MeSH terms

  • Augmented Reality*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electricity
  • Haptic Technology*
  • Humans
  • Muscles