Affective Haptics is the emerging area of research which focuses on the study and design of devices and systems that can elicit, enhance, or influence emotional state of a human by means of sense of touch. The research field is originated with the Dzmitry Tsetserukou and Alena Neviarouskaya papers [PDF][PDF] on Affective Haptics and real-time communication system with rich emotional and haptic channels. Driven by the motivation to enhance social interactivity and emotionally immersive experience of users of real-time messaging, virtual, augmented realities, the idea of reinforcing (intensifying) own feelings and reproducing (simulating) the emotions felt by the partner was proposed.
Four basic haptic (tactile) channels governing our emotions can be distinguished: (1) physiological changes (e.g., heart beat rate, body temperature, etc.), (2) physical stimulation (e.g., tickling), (3) social touch (e.g., hug, handshake), (4) emotional haptic design (e.g., shape of device, material, texture).
Wikipedia article on Affective Haptics originally created by Dzmitry Tsetserukou can be found on the web page.