A Call for Haptic Porn (No, It’s Not Dirty)

The other day I came across yet another announcement for a mobile phone with haptic feedback. In this case is was Samsung’s Yepp YP-P3 Haptic PMP. The device supposedly has a haptic touchscreen, but I’m still not clear if it does anything more than vibrate.

So why is it that no one has created a compelling demonstration of the value of a haptic devices through audio and visual channels?

I understand the challenge that comes with communicating tactile feedback through non-tactile mediums, but this is nothing that designers haven’t seen before. After all, smell is an integral part of the food industry, but that hasn’t stopped creative folks from finding ways to convey the spirit of a dish with less than the full sensory toolset. In culinary circles, the Macro lens often comes to the rescue, allowing photographers to create luscious imagery (food porn) that offsets the fact that we can’t utilize our other senses. But no one has done the same with Haptics. I’d like to see that change. There are only so many people you can reach with an in-person demo.

So this is an open call for Haptic Porn. If you find any instances that clearly demonstrate the value of a haptic device, please let me know. In the mean time, we may just need to create it ourselves.