2020 update: another report of a virtual-touch haptic device that could someday enhance ASMR videos (Summary; Research Article).
Initial 2017 post: Video ASMR artists can directly stimulate ASMR in viewers with gentle sounds, soft voices, and comforting visuals.
But they have been unable to directly stimulate the sensation of touch through a video. And touch may be the strongest trigger of ASMR.
Could there be a way to feel the touch of someone who is in another room or even in another country?
Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada have designed gloves called Flex-N-Feel to be worn by individuals at separate locations. When one person Flexes their fingers in the gloves, the other person Feels the touch via vibrotactile sensations on their skin.
Popular triggers for ASMR include someone playing with your hair, cutting your hair, stroking your arm, drawing words on your back with their finger (back writing game), and/or examining you for health concerns (clinical exams).
What do all these strong triggers for ASMR have in common?
Being touched lightly has been perceived as pleasurable for a while. In contrast, the biological understanding of these pleasant sensations has only recently begun to be understood – and may help to understand ASMR.