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Gareth William Young: Human-Computer interaction methodologies applied in the evaluation of haptic digital musical instruments

22 Nov

Human-Computer interaction methodologies applied in the evaluation of haptic digital musical instruments

Recent developments in interactive technologies have seen major changes in the manner in which artists, performers, and creative individuals interact with digital music technology; this is due to the increasing variety of interactive technologies that are readily available today. Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) present musicians with performance challenges that are unique to this form of computer music. One of the most significant deviations from conventional acoustic musical instruments is the level of physical feedback conveyed by the instrument to the user. Currently, new interfaces for musical expression are not designed to be as physically communicative as acoustic instruments. Specifically, DMIs are often void of haptic feedback and therefore lack the ability to impart important performance information to the user. Moreover, there currently is no standardised way to measure the effect of this lack of physical feedback. Best practice would expect that there should be a set of methods to effectively, repeatedly, and quantifiably evaluate the functionality, usability, and user experience of DMIs. Earlier theoretical and technological applications of haptics have tried to address device performance issues associated with the lack of feedback in DMI designs and it has been argued that the level of haptic feedback presented to a user can significantly affect the user’s overall emotive feeling towards a musical device. The outcome of the investigations contained within this thesis are intended to inform new haptic interface.  Continues...

Digital Arts & Humanities

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