Touch-in’ the virtual: Exploring digital touch communication in VR
Workshop run by the IN-TOUCH team and Dr Gijs Huisman

Date & Time: June 3rd 2019, 10am to 4pm

Venue: UCL Knowledge Lab, Large Seminar Room, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

About: This interdisciplinary workshop aims to examine and explore the conceptualisation and experience of ‘touch’ in virtual environments including virtual reality, pseudo haptics and mediated touch technologies. We will investigate the current state-of-the art virtual touch and speculate on ‘virtual touch’ futures, with attention to health and well-being, training and learning, and leisure. Through hands on experience of virtual touch environments, fiction and film, thematic grounding and we will engage with questions of the materiality of touch, the kinds of ‘touch’ sensations that people sense or experience in the virtual landscape, and the implications for its’ design and use potentials.


A Personal Touch: Adventures in Haptic Technology
Dr Gijs Huisman, Amsterdam University of Applied Science’s Digital Society School

Date & Time: June 4th 2019 at 3pm

Venue: UCL Informatics and Computing (UCLIC), Room 4.05, 66-72 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6EA

Abstract: In this talk I will share my work on haptic technology, in particular haptics applied to social communication, from creating wearable technology for academic research to joining a startup company to create actual products. I will draw on work from psychology to outline my thoughts on social touch (touch between people) and I will show examples of how social touch might be mediated through technology, what implications that may have for distal interactions, and where I see social haptics going in the future.

Hosted by:  IN-TOUCH, UCL Knowledge Lab and UCLIC

Gijs Huisman Bio:
gijs huisman bio picGijs Huisman is a senior researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science’s Digital Society School (DSS) where he directs research grounded in the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. His research interests revolve around multimodal interaction, embodiment, digital/physical interfaces, and haptics.

Gijs was previously at the Human Media Interaction group and Communication Science group of the University of Twente where he worked on haptics for embodiment in Virtual and Augmented reality and on nature-inspired ambient technology for well-being. His PhD research focussed on how haptic technology can be used for social and affective interaction in mediated communication and in interactions with artificial social entities such as virtual agents and social robots. He also worked on nature-inspired ambient technology for well-being. In addition to his academic work Gijs is co-founder and head of R&D at House of Haptics, a startup company that brings novel haptic solutions to market.