Smart Haptics 2019 Agenda Announced!

Smithers is proud to present the agenda for Smart Haptics 2019!

Day 1 | December 4

Registration & Exhibit Hall Opens

  1. Opening Remarks

    Rebecca List – Conference Producer, Smithers

Session IA: Exploring the Future of Haptics

  1. Keynote: Haptic Ethics

    David Birnbaum | Head of Design Strategy and Outreach of Immersion Corp.

    Haptics is fundamentally different from other technologies. It happens to you, by affecting your body and conditioning your behavior. We’re approaching an inflection point where many more encounters with technology will include haptics. With all this exciting progress, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should haptic developers and designers follow a code of ethics? Are there risks in allowing third parties to manipulate people’s emotions and bodies? How might society – and ethics – change with haptics? Those of us who work in the field of haptics belong to a small community of experts, and we have a responsibility to decide whether and how to approach these problems. This keynote is intended to get the conversation started, and it will bring together research from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions.

  2. Touching the Void in Virtual Reality

    Dr. Mar Gonzalez-Franco | Senior Researcher of Microsoft Research

    For the PC, it is the mouse. For video games, it is the two-handed controller. What is the equivalent for virtual and augmented reality? Every major type of human-computer interface has coalesced around and evolved with an interaction controller. In this talk, we will explore the limits of our current VR controllers and present a subset of VR haptic prototypes. A commonality in our controllers is the fact that they focus on simulating objects rather than matching hand skills. That has allowed us to find prototypes that address different subsets of canonical haptic primitives. The sum of them enables grasping, cutaneous touch, stable grip, dexterity, and precision interaction to manipulate objects inside AR/VR systems.

    This pioneering work at the intersection of neuroscience and technology has been published in Science Robotics, IEEE Transactions on Haptics, ACM CHI, ACM UIST, ACM Symposium on Applied Perception, and Scientific American, as well as helped demonstrate the theory of the Uncanny Valley of Haptics.

  3. Designing for the Sense of Touch: Opportunities and Challenges in Human-Computer Interaction

    Marcello Giordano | Research Scientist of Chatham Labs

    This is indubitably a very exciting time for haptics. Consumer devices are capable, now more than ever, of delivering rich and nuanced haptic effects, and users have learned to expect a certain level of quality in terms of the haptic capabilities of their devices. This progress is driven by the continuous advancement of haptic technology and science, authoring tools, and our understanding of human touch perception. In this context, the work of haptic designers becomes crucial, being the ones tasked with bringing together these different domains to create the haptic experiences of the future. In this talk, I will focus on haptic design as a discipline in its own right. I will attempt to flesh out the great opportunities and challenges that haptic designers face and will continue to face in the future, developing haptics for increasingly diverse audiences, devices, and applications, ranging from virtual reality to wearable devices and the tactile internet. 

  4. Networking Break - Exhibit Hall Open

Session IB: Exploring the Future of Vibrotactile Haptics

  1. Keynote: Open-Sourcing Haptics – Paving the Way to Better Experiences

    Daniel Büttner | CEO of Lofelt

    Adoption of advanced haptic technologies is accelerating – along with the complexities, costs, and resources needed for integration. A new, user-friendly, standardized approach to haptics is required to deliver the realistic, immersive experiences of tomorrow.

    In this keynote, Lofelt will present a broad survey of the haptics market, discussing the adoption of HD haptics in consumer devices. Lofelt will explain why an open-source, cross-platform, actuator-agnostic framework is a key step toward creating the remarkable haptic experiences of tomorrow. This framework aims to solve key challenges that are specific to haptics, e.g., enabling content developers to design consistent, high-quality experiences for multiple devices regardless of the actuator – with a single API.

  2. Synchronized Actuation for High-Fidelity XR Haptics: Introducing SAVANT

    Dr. Nikhil Bajaj | Engineering Consultant of General Vibration Corporation

    Conventional solutions for generating high-fidelity haptic vibrations in battery-powered, handheld devices used in XR applications have been limited to a single vibration actuator. In this talk, we will present the advantages of a multi-actuator approach, in order to build a system that meets XR application constraints. We will introduce the SAVANT (Synchronized Array of Vibration Actuators in a Network Topology) approach, an architecture that allows for cost-competitive, fast-response, high-force output, battery-powered haptic vibration displays. This architecture yields a set of methods that can be scaled to provide actuation systems with high performance and multiple degrees of freedom for high-fidelity haptic devices. We will discuss the implementation of an example SAVANT solution useful for XR. In addition, we will discuss future directions, including exotic SAVANTs that will become cost effective for the consumer market as sensing and control technologies continue to advance and decrease in cost.

  3. Presenting a Universal Haptics Language: “Vector Haptics”

    Tim Szeto | CEO and Founder of Nanoport Technology

    While modern haptics have seen steady advancement, there remains a need to encourage the creation of quality haptics content. One potential improvement is an abstraction of hardware considerations from the design and playback of haptic effects. Nanoport presents its design of a universal haptics protocol, its work with industry players, and business considerations for the haptics industry. At Smart Haptics US 2019, the Vector Haptics program officially launches and details its approach for cross-platform haptics content.

  4. Networking Lunch

    Exhibit Hall will be open during the lunch break.

Session II: Creative Immersion Through AR/VR/XR Haptics

  1. Exploring AR/VR Haptic Technology

    Nick Colonnese | Research Scientist of Facebook Reality Labs

    Detailed Abstract Coming Soon!

  2. Creating “Surgeon 4.0” Using Haptic VR

    Richard Vincent | CEO of FundamentalVR

    Surgical training hasn’t changed in 150 years. Theory, observation, and live patient learning still dominate, contributing to major social impacts; globally, two thirds of the population have no access to safe and affordable surgery. In this presentation, a VR expert will talk about how his company is revolutionizing medical and surgical training by democratizing it through technology, using haptic VR technology, and how VR will become mainstream in the years to come.

  3. How HaptX is Advancing Training, Design, and Robotics

    Andrew Mitrak | Director of Marketing of HaptX

    HaptX Gloves provide high-fidelity tactile feedback, force feedback, and precise motion tracking to simulate touch with unprecedented realism. This industrial-grade haptic technology is advancing the way we use VR to learn skills and design products, and it is pioneering the field of dexterous telerobotic operations. Hear from Andrew Mitrak, HaptX’s Director of Marketing, to learn how advanced haptics are changing the way we interact with digital environments.

  4. Networking Break - Exhibit Hall Open

Session III: Advancements in Automotive Haptics

  1. Future Tactile Interaction Concepts for Automotive Applications

    Stella Clarke | Research Engineer, Future User Interaction Concepts of BMW Group

    Detailed Abstract Coming Soon!

  2. The Role of Haptics in Future Human-Machine Interfaces

    Ethan Sturm | Senior Manager, Strategic Markets of Alps Alpine/Cirque Corporation

    The way humans interface with technology is continually evolving, from buttons and levers, keyboards and mice, to touchscreens and voice assistants that are ubiquitous in today’s devices. Ultimately the common goal of these innovations is to translate our intent into the machine as effectively as possible.

    In this presentation, we will explore the evolution of these technologies and how the presence of haptic feedback is critical to the human experience. Real-world applications in virtual reality and automotive, as well as academic research, will frame the discussion. Finally, we will look ahead at how upcoming innovations are likely to impact future product designs.

  3. Mid-Air Haptic Feedback – Enabling Automotive Controls

    Alex Driskill-Smith | President, North America of Ultraleap

    Automotive adoption of gesture and voice recognition is accelerating, with multiple manufacturers now offering driver and passenger controls. The status quo of screen-based systems requires drivers to glance away to confirm status and actioning of their inputs. As regulators increasingly take notice of distraction as a key safety metric, how can mid-air haptics combine with these technologies to reduce glance time, increase user preference, and simplify interactions?

  4. Closing Remarks for the Day

    Rebecca List – Conference Producer, Smithers

  5. Evening Networking Reception

Day 2 | December 5

Registration & Exhibit Hall Opens

  1. Opening Remarks - Day 2

    Rebecca List – Conference Producer, Smithers

Session IV: Building a Haptics-Minded Business

  1. Building a Haptics-Minded Business – Panel Discussion

    Confirmed Panelists Include:

    • Daniel Büttner – CEO, Lofelt
    • Phill LoPresti – CEO, Tanvas
    • Tim Szeto – Founder and CEO, Nanoport Technology
    • Alex Driskill-Smith – President, North America, Ultrahaptics

  2. Networking Break - Exhibit Hall Open

Session V: Innovations in Accessibility Technologies

  1. NewHaptics: Refreshing Refreshable Braille

    Alex Russomanno | Co-Founder and CEO of NewHaptics

    For many of the over 35 million blind people in the world, access to braille and tactile graphical content (e.g., graphs, maps, charts) in an electronic form is essential for literacy and proficiency in science and other math-related subjects. However, the high cost and limited capability of current refreshable braille displays represent significant accessibility barriers for people who are blind, and this places blind students at a disadvantage in today’s increasingly digital classrooms. These current refreshable displays are limited to a single line or a few words of braille text, making reading difficult and accessing spatial information impossible. NewHaptics is on a mission to bring cheaper and more capable refreshable braille displays to market. In this talk, Alex will discuss the technological challenges NewHaptics seeks to overcome, and the ways in which their proposed products will revolutionize digital interaction for the blind.

  2. Creating a New Channel for Machine-Human Communication

    Laura Bücheler | CEO and Co-Founder of GHOST – feel it

    As the demand for machine-human communication increases, the typical channels using visual and auditory senses are overloaded as more and more complex information has to be transmitted. GHOST – feel it. has developed a smart shirt and a haptic language that enables machines to send information via vibration patterns to the user in order to communicate through a new channel. Our mission is to enable OEM companies to offer a haptic user interface to their customers and get involved in the haptic technology trend with a head start.

  3. Neuro-Rehabilitation Solution: Leveraging Smart Socks to Monitor Gait and Synchronized Haptic Stimuli to Retrain the Neuromuscular System

    Davide Vigano | Co-Founder and CEO of Sensoria Inc

    Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurological condition disease, affecting over 10 million people worldwide. Falls are a serious concern for people with PD. Falls and loss of independence may be caused by excessive step-time variability and freezing of gait (FOG). Gait impairments are associated with decreased balance confidence and increased fall risk, and they drastically affect a person’s functional independence and quality of life. Gait parameters such as increased double support time variability and lower-than-average walking bouts are associated with elevated fall risk. Sensoria Health is honored and excited to partner with Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), a leader in brain and nervous system research based in Sydney, Australia, on the research project Standing Tall – PD, a neuro-rehabilitation solution. As part of the Michael J. Fox Foundation grant, Smart Sock v3.0 with haptic feedback is currently being utilized in a clinical trial with 100 Parkinson’s patients at NeuRA.

  4. Networking Lunch

    Exhibit Hall will be open during the lunch break.

Session VI: Updates and Trends in Wearable and Mobile Device Haptics

  1. A Breakthrough in Temperature – The Embr Wave

    Elizabeth Gazda | CEO of Embr Labs

    Detailed Abstract Coming Soon!

  2. Finding Focus and Calm with doppel

    Dr. Fotini Markopoulou | Co-Founder and CEO of doppel

    Detailed Abstract Coming Soon!

  3. Mobile Device Haptics: Current Trends, Future Challenges

    Tony Doy | Technology Manager of Cirrus Logic

    High-resolution haptics are becoming pervasive in mobile devices. This presentation will cover a few examples of haptics hardware implementation in some recently released phones, touch on the physics and limitations of a typical phone LRA (Linear Resonant Actuator) based sub-system, and outline some of the challenges of deploying and rendering haptic effects in phones.

    Looking ahead, with the advent of high-sensitivity force sensing becoming cost effective such that – in conjunction with low-latency, high-resolution haptic feedback – virtual buttons can be defined on bezels and control surfaces, leading to the possibility of intuitive, “use mode” defined user experiences and interaction.

  4. Networking Break - Exhibit Hall Open

Session VII: Emerging Applications and Developments

  1. Emerging Developments at Tanvas

    J. Edward Colgate | Breed University Design Professor at Northwestern University of Tanvas

    Detailed Abstract Coming Soon!

  2. SMA Haptics Adds a New Dimension to Next-Generation Smartphones

    Marc Scholz, PhD | Senior System Engineer of Cambridge Mechatronics

    Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd (CML) uses proprietary shape memory alloy (SMA) technology to create realistic local tactile sensations through high force actuation in a miniature form factor. The launch of CML’s haptic actuator shifts the boundaries of tactile interaction and creates opportunities for application developers and designers of next-generation smartphones. SMA-based haptics are expected to enhance virtual controls and augmented gaming experiences through an increased ability to control and fine-tune tactile interactions.

  3. Closing Remarks

    Rebecca List – Conference Producer, Smithers