With increasing interest in multisensory experiences in HCI there is a need to consider the potential impact of crossmodal correspondences (CCs) between sensory modalities on perception and interpretation. We investigated CCs between active haptic experiences of tangible 3D objects, visual colour and emotion using the “Bouba/Kiki” paradigm. We asked 30 participants to assign colours and emotional categories to 3D-printed objects with varying degrees of angularity and complexity. We found tendencies to associate high degrees of complexity and angularity with red colours, low brightness and high arousal levels. Less complex round shapes were associated with blue colours, high brightness and positive valence levels. These findings contrast previously reported crossmodal effects triggered by 2D shapes of similar angularity and complexity, suggesting that designers cannot simply extrapolate potential perceptual and interpretive experiences elicited by 2D shapes to seemingly similar 3D tangible objects. Instead, we propose a design space for creating tangible multisensory artefacts that can trigger specific emotional percepts and discuss implications for exploiting CCs in the design of interactive technology.



Anan Lin, Meike Scheller, Feng Feng, Michael Proulx, Oussama Metatla


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