Phantom Touch phenomenon as a manifestation of the Visual-Auditory-Tactile Synaesthesia and its impact on the users in virtual reality
Authors: Alexdottir, S. and Yang, X.
Journal: Proceedings - 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Adjunct, ISMAR-Adjunct 2022
Phantom Touch in VR is an emerging phenomenon where a user can experience another person's touch in VR without any real-life contact or haptics. This research focuses on what causes Phantom Touch to occur and how any individual can develop this pseudo haptic. VRChat users were questioned for primary data findings-which showed comparison between users who feel Phantom Touch and those who do not. The data was analysed through psychological studies, and later a methodology was proposed through which individuals could evoke Phantom Touch-The HTT method. The technique was then tested on participants, along with a control group to prove HTT method's validity. Heart rate pattern, as well as qualitative data was collected during the experiment to analyse Phantom Touch's effect on people. The findings from this study can have a potential impact on the medical field, social VR settings, and more.