Copyright 2023 © The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
MetaTouch is an extended reality installation exploring virtual touch.
In the increasingly embodied context of the metaverse, lack of tactile feedback hinders the construction of positive interaction and empathy. MetaTouch questions how cross-modal, multi-sensory, physical experiences could benefit users’ navigation of virtual spaces.
Through a 'tactile cabinet of curiosities', participants explore a world where the virtual and the physical are deeply integrated. Participants are provided with multisensory feedback in response to a series of tactile modules. These hand movement detection modules, each with different material and sensory-kinetic properties, capture and translate real-time touch data to achieve precise visual-tactile mapping.
By speculating on and playing with tactile rules and expectations in this context, MetaTouch questions how visual-tactile experiences affect embodied, interpersonal relationships and social interaction in the virtual realm. MetaTouch seeks opportunities to break down touch stereotypes, re-building touch language and etiquette to explore the potential of positive touch experiences in an empathetic and embodied virtual community.