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Abstract This paper introduces a novel pseudo-haptic approach called HEMP - hand-displacement-based pseudo-haptics. The main idea behind HEMP is to provide haptic-like sensations by dynamically displacing the visual representation of the user's hand. This paper studies the possible application of HEMP to the simulation of force fields (FF). The proposed hardware solution for simulating the hand displacement is based on an Augmented Reality configuration, the video see-through head-mounted display. A response model is proposed for controlling the hand displacement. This model adapts to the user's hand movements. It also accounts for a number of perceptual and system constraints. An experiment has been carried out to investigate the potential of the proposed technique. Subjects had to perform a FF strength comparison task and to fill in an illusion evaluation questionnaire. Results show that different force field strength levels are discriminable and that flow pressure-like sensations are perceived by subjects.