Nowadays, there are a lot of studies on the haptic perception on fabrics’ hands.
Many of this researches are being made in order to develope new systems and devices that are able to analyze tactile perception through digital images.
As written in Xue Z. article (Xue, Z. 2015), this kind of researches are particularly useful for e-shopping as this will enable the consumers to know (approximately) the haptic proprieties of different products available in the online stores.
The buyer will have the perception of the fabric that is close to the real sensation (Xue, Z. 2015).
Personally I think that this kind of experiments are extremely useful. Even if it does not apply directly to my research, it may be helpful for the near future. As it concerns the retail process and the designer’s online presences.
I’m thinking about e-commerce and all the different platforms that are being used to promote the products. Instagram, for example, is one of the most popular social media to promote designers works at the moment. There you can easily display a gallery of your products and connect it with other websites or online profiles.
Etsy is another platform that is commonly used for selling hand-crafted products.
So, the tactile research is necessary from this point of view. A lot of designers are relying only on the internet to sell and promote their works so it is necessary to give a close-to-real impression of them.
In the same article, the concept of memory association between tactile and visual perception is easily explained:
“when we touch a fabric, its tactile information will be associated with the synchronized visual features and memorized simultaneously in our brain so as to create a so-called memory association. After this experience being repeated for a sufficient number of times in our daily contact, the memory association established between the tactile and visual perceptions of this fabric can be gradually strengthened. In this way, when we see or even just visualize this object again, the related tactile information will be recalled from the memory association.”
(Xue, Z. 2015)
The matter here becomes complicated as it involves neuropsychology (Klatzky and Lederman, 2010; James and Kim, 2010). From many previous studies, it emerged that real life experiences influences tactile perception. This means that humans interpret haptic information through visual perception; in fact we can easily tell the size, weight and texture without even touch the object (Xue, Z. 2015).
Again this is essential for my research because it states that the right material (fabrics in this case) can provoke emotional reaction just through sight.
Chosing the right material in order to express a feeling is essential because the costumer will than buy the object for its emotional charge and implied significance.
James, T.W., Kim, S., 2010. Dorsal and Ventral Cortical Pathways for Visuo-haptic Shape Integration Revealed Using fMRI. Multisensory Object Perception in the Primate Brain. Springer, New York (Chapter 13).
Klatzky, R.L., Lederman, S.J., 2010. Multisensory Texture Perception. Multisensory Object Perception in the Primate Brain. Springer, New York (Chapter 12).
Xue, Z, Zeng, X, Koehl, L, & Chen, Y 2014, ‘Measuring consistency of two datasets using fuzzy techniques and the concept of indiscernibility: Application to human perceptions on fabrics’, Engineering Applications Of Artificial Intelligence, 36, pp. 54-63, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 5 November 2015.