Haptic mobile augmented reality system for the treatment of phobia of small animals in teenagers

Cristina Ramírez-Fernández, Alberto L. Morán, Eloísa García-Canseco, Victoria Meza-Kubo, Edgar Barreras, Octavio Valenzuela, Netzahualcoyotl Hernandez-Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Some of the fears of small animals present in childhood are maintained and cause significant discomfort until the adolescent stage, even causing phobias. A treatment used in the traditional therapy of phobias is the live exposure to the object of fear, however one of the problems with this treatment is patient resistance and eventual therapy abandonment. The use of intelligent environments is an alternative that allows to support the therapy through the virtual, gradual and controlled exposure of the patient to the animal to which s/he is afraid. In this research, we present the design, development and evaluation of a haptic mobile augmented reality system for the treatment of small animals phobia using the TPAD haptic device. The proposed haptic system includes features that allow (i) diagnosing the level of phobia of small animals, (ii) self-adjusting the phobia treatment using support vector machines, and (iii) user progress statistics based on the estimated stress level and time touching the screen. A usability and performance evaluation of the system with 14 teenagers, suggests that the haptic system is perceived as useful and usable, while providing an effective and accessible way to treat the patient and to adjust the therapy challenge level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-676
Number of pages11
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Oct 2017
Event11th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, UCAmI 2017 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 7 Nov 201710 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.


  • Haptic mobile augmented reality
  • Phobia treatment
  • Teenagers


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