Go to the Program page for the full program.

Speaker : Sile O’Modhrain

Title : Malleable Media: Defining Interaction Paradigms for Full-page Tactile Arrays

Date : Sunday 6 September (17:00 – 18:00)

Abstract : Five years ago, I presented a talk at the Haptics Symposium entitled “Rekindling the Search for the Holy Braille”, in which I outlined the challenges faced in developing a full-page refreshable tactile array for the display of braille and tactile graphics.  I am happy to report that, while no displays are yet available on the market, there are at least five serious contender’s with  technical approaches that are very close to solving the problem.

Now the challenge becomes one of determining how to interact with tactile content, static or dynamic, on such a full-page refreshable display.  For users of speech-based interfaces or single-line displays, this moment is as significant as the transition from the command line to the GUI.

In this talk, I will review current work seeking to define a new interaction paradigm for tactile displays and present some of the questions that are taxing those of us in the field at the moment.


Speaker : Garmt Dijksterhuis

Title : Oral Exploral: the mouth as a haptic device

Date : Sunday 6 September (18:00 – 19:00)

Abstract: Haptics is the science of touch, of perceiving your surrounding by touching it, and by being touched by it. Just think of it, we touch our surrounding almost continuously. We do ‘touch’ it by our foot soles when standing and walking and by our backs and bottoms when sitting. These days sitting is probably one of our main touching activities, making the bottom our primary touch device. I don’t want to focus on that, but on the other end.

We also touch many parts of our surrounding by our hands, probably really our main haptic devices. We touch ourselves, sometimes others, and we touch anything we want to find something out about. We need to touch stuff in order do to anything. We touch our telephones, probably more than we touch our partners; we touch our keyboards to type texts and e-mails, even when we know that perhaps only a few people will read them (Is that why everybody hits ‘Reply all’, when a reply to only the sender is enough?). We need to touch stuff in order to stay alive. We have to grab prey to survive, or in this day and age, we shop for food.

By the way, for the more expensive stuff, it’s known form marketing research that when you get a consumer to touch an item, this increases the probability of them actually buying it. Sales persons know that they have to touch you in order to make you trust them, and make you buy the car that’s just over your budget. A firm hand shake used to be standard selling repertoire. Ever met a sales person who did not ostentatiously shake your hand? In these “times of the virus” however, there’s no hand shake, no touching, which will frustrate many a sales person.

Apart from such extravagancies as cars or jewelry, we have to touch other stuff in order to stay alive. We buy, unpack, cook, and eat food… And here we see that the ultimate touch of life is oral! We orally explore our food. We perceive textures, we generally love crispy stuff and hate slimy food. We actively manipulate (or rather ’tonguepulate’), i.e. masticate, our food. To a large extent, we base our judgement about whether we like the food we ate on our perception of texture and the dynamics of oral food bolus formation. ‘Bolus formation’, although this term may not whet your appetite for this presentation, there’s really a lot of intriguing research going on in this field.


Speaker : Hellen van Rees

Title : Textiles as a medium for haptics – a designers perspective

Date : Monday 7 September (9:30- 10:30)

Abstract: We are (depending on lifestyle of course) in direct contact with textiles almost 24/7. Think about that, our skin is so used to being surrounded by shirts, blankets, towels, even most of our furniture is covered in textile.

These days most wearables are watches, and clip-on devices, solid, hard, and mostly placed in one specific spot. Especially for haptic feedback the using the textile itself opens a range of possibilities for a more embodied tactile experience. What if we could manipulate our textiles in such a way that they change state, what are the possibilities of that for future wearables?

As a textile & fashion designer I’ve worked on projects where the textile is thus engineered to adapt to circumstances and developed this into prototypes. From a posture coach, a wearable breathing trainer to a textile that responds to moisture. I’ll show examples of how textile can become 4D and this way be a medium for haptics.

As textiles are, next to our skin, our second home there’s further attention needed for the design; taking into account the use and culture that comes with such products. The way in which the potential user can relate to the product is not only a matter of how well it functions technically and how easy it is to use, but also on more subjective, and often underestimated matters, such as how well it represents the culture, style and position of the potential user. Therefore, the collaboration between technical and creative team members is essential to the success of prototypes or products.


Speaker : Monica Gori

Title : From science to technology: the interaction between senses during the development and the creation of new multi-sensory rehabilitation devices.

Date : Wednesday 9 September (16:30- 17:30)

Abstract: During the first years of life, sensory modalities communicate with each other. Since 2004 we have studied how the haptic, visual, and auditory modalities interact and are integrated during development. We have observed that specific sensory modalities are crucial for the development of particular skills and the absence of one sensory input impacts on the development of different modalities. For example, in young children, the haptic modality is essential to perceive the size, and the lack of haptic skills affects the ability to understand the visual size of objects. Similarly, the visual information is crucial to perceive orientation and the lack of vision impacts on haptic orientation perception and verticality perception.

These results suggest that there is a strong interaction between sensory systems during the early period of life to correct perceptual development to occur. Starting from these premises, we have developed new multisensory technology based on multisensory feedback. Its goal is to improve the perceptual, motor, social, and learning skills of children with impairments. During the presentation, I’ll present the results obtained with ABBI and TechArm. These are two wearable devices that provide audio, visual, and tactile feedbacks associated with body movement to improve haptic manipulation and social interaction. I will also show the results obtained with the WeDraw, a set of applications based on audio, tactile, and visual feedback designed to improve learning skills at the elementary school level. The results are discussed considering further developments and applications for rehabilitation settings in hospitals.