The effectiveness of haptic cues as an assistive technology for human memory

Stacey Kuznetsov, Anind K. Dey, Scott E. Hudson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Many people experience difficulty recalling and recognizing information during everyday tasks. Prior assistive technology has leveraged audio and video cues, but this approach is often disruptive and inappropriate in socially-sensitive situations. Our work explores vibro-tactile feedback as an alternative that unobtrusively aids human memory. We conducted several user studies comparing within-participant performance on memory tasks without haptic cues (control) and tasks augmented with tactile stimuli (intervention). Our studies employed a bracelet prototype that emits vibratory pulses, which are uniquely mapped to audio and visual information. Results show interaction between performance on control and intervention conditions. Poor performers on unaided tasks improve recognition by more than 20% (p<0.05) when haptic cues are employed. Thus, we suggest vibro-tactile feedback as an effective memory aid for users with impaired memory, and offer several design recommendations for integrating haptic cues into wearable devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPervasive Computing - 7th International Conference, Pervasive 2009, Proceedings
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing, Pervasive 2009 - Nara, Japan
Duration: May 11 2009May 14 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume5538 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing, Pervasive 2009


  • Haptic interfaces
  • Memory cues
  • Wearable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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