Thermal icons: evaluating structured thermal feedback for mobile interaction

Graham Wilson, Stephen A. Brewster, Martin Halvey, Stephen A. Hughes

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

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper expands the repertoire of non-visual feedback for mobile interaction, established through Earcons and Tactons, by designing structured thermal cues for conveying information. Research into the use of thermal feedback for HCI has not looked beyond basic 'yes-no' detection of stimuli to the unique identification of those stimuli. We first designed thermal icons that varied along two parameters to convey two pieces of information. We also designed intramodal tactile icons, combining one thermal and one vibrotactile parameter, to test perception of different tactile cues and so evaluate the possibility of augmenting vibrotactile displays with thermal feedback. Thermal icons were identified with 82.8% accuracy, while intramodal icons had 96.9% accuracy, suggesting thermal icons are a viable means of conveying information in mobile HCI, for when audio and/or vibrotactile feedback is not suitable or desired.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)9781450311052
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2012


    • HCI
    • thermal icons
    • mobile interaction
    • vibrotactile feedback


    Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal icons: evaluating structured thermal feedback for mobile interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this