Proceedings: GI 2015

Integrated multimodal interaction using normal maps

Auston Sterling , Ming Lin

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3 - 5 June 2015, 33-40

DOI 10.20380/GI2015.05

  • Bibtex

    author = {Sterling, Auston and Lin, Ming},
    title = {Integrated multimodal interaction using normal maps},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015},
    series = {GI 2015},
    year = {2015},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4822-6003-8},
    location = {Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada},
    pages = {33--40},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2015.05},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


In this paper, we explore texture mapping as a unified representation for enabling realistic multimodal interaction with finely-detailed surfaces. We first present a novel approach to modifying collision handling between textured rigid-body objects; we then show how normal maps can be adopted as a unified representation to synthesize complex sound effects from long-lasting collisions and perform rendering of haptic textures. The resulting multimodal display system allows a user to see, hear, and feel complex interactions with textured surfaces. By using normal maps as a unified representation for seamlessly integrated multimodal interaction instead of complex triangular meshes otherwise required, this work is able to achieve up to 25 times performance speedup and reduce up to six orders of magnitude in memory storage. We further validate the results through a user study which demonstrates that the subjects are able to correctly identify the material texture of a surface through interaction with its normal map.