BarryWhaptics: Towards Countering Social Biases Using Real-Time Haptic Enhancement of Voice


Studies suggest that imbalances in speaking opportunities during meetings often lead to sub-optimal meeting outcomes. These imbalances can be due to a variety of reasons, including people’s perception of speakers and their voice. Indeed, speakers with higher pitched voices were shown to be perceived as having lower leadership ability. In an attempt at countering such voice-pitch related biases, this work introduces BarryWhaptics, a real-time speech-to-haptics conversion system that leverages multimodal perception to alter the listener’s perception of a speaker. The system operates by augmenting human speech with vibration, applying more intense vibrations to voices that would ordinarily be considered low in dominance. Results from a pilot study assessing the influence of the system in a decision-making task demonstrate that it can meaningfully influence how users choose to follow instructions given by one speaker over another.

2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC)
Post Doctoral Fellow

My research interests include haptic, mechatronics, micro-robotic and hci.