Haptics: Making experience memorable

Oral Haptics of Doughnuts

When I watch TV programs in Japan, I am obsessed with many TV shows about foods. TV programs broadcast Japanese restaurants and food shops from early morning to late evening every day. The TV program cameras typically zoom the foods to show how the inside of the food looks like when we eat. The camera on the TV program also zooms the face of a TV personality or reporter to show when they eat the food. Eating delicious food is a special treat for a person in daily life.

Oral Haptic Experience

Food is more than nutrition. Food offers oral haptic perceptions when you process the food in your mouth, such as biting and chewing. For example, Curry Bun (カレーパン, Kare-Pan) has a crispy crust outside. Then, you taste a chewy texture coming along with pasty curry filling. After you finish eating the Curry Bun, you feel full and satisfied with the food’s volume and in-mouth haptic experience.

Curry Buns

Haptic Perceptions of Skincare

It is not just foods that offer us haptic experiences. Another notable experience with haptic perceptions is a daily skincare routine.


Japanese women typically use multiple products for skincare every day. First, they wash their face with a facial cleanser or soap, followed by cosmetic water (化粧水) to moisturize their skin in the morning. Then they apply milky lotion onto their face to emollient the skin before makeup. In the evening, after the milky lotion, facial cream and serum are used to revitalize their skin while sleeping. In addition, some women use a facial mask and steamer to care for their facial skin further.

The use of several products in the skincare regimen gives good facial care. It also makes the skin comfortable. Cosmetic water makes waterly moisturizing sensations to prevent the dry skin feeling after cleansing. The following milky lotion makes your skin soft and calm. The pleasant haptic experiences in the skincare routine make you perceive as doing the care for your skin.

Numerous Haptic Stimuli in Daily Life

When you pay attention to objects in daily life such as foods, cosmetics, and clothes, you notice so many haptic stimuli exist around us. Not all of the haptic perceptions around us are obvious, however. Even tiny texture differences, such as silky vs. smooth texture, can make a different experience and leave a different memory.

Like other sensory perceptions, haptic perceptions are important for making our experience with products memorable. For example, you may be interested in a curry bun when you saw it on Instagram. After we eat the curry bun, we feel how delicious the food is. The chewy texture with a curry flavor remains our memory. That is why we buy the curry bun repeatedly.

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