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Interview with bHaptic's Kiuk Gwak

Dr. Kiuk Gwak, CEO and co-founder of bHaptics Inc., is a featured presenter at Smart Haptics 2023. Ahead of the conference, Producer Rebecca List sat down with Kiuk to discuss his presentation and his excitement for the 2023 event!

Why have you decided to present at Smart Haptics 2023?

When I participated in Smart Haptics last year, I was inspired by the excellent presentations of the outstanding speakers. Although I may not be as experienced as some of those speakers, this year I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with the haptic industry through my presentation.

Your presentation is titled More than just a buzz: Maximizing user engagement with haptic feedback in VR/AR. Can you tell us more about why you’re excited to share your insights with this year’s attendees?

In my opinion, for haptic researchers, pondering how to integrate haptic devices they've developed with audio-visual content to enhance user experience is a significant and challenging problem. From this perspective, I believe it's a great achievement that our haptic vest, TactSuit, has been integrated into more than 220 consumer VR games (as of now). By sharing the diverse case studies from our journey with attendees, they can glean insights into how wearable haptic devices integrate with consumer content and understand the magnitude of the improved experiences users can have. Of course, it's also wonderful to have the opportunity to introduce the hardware and software we are developing at bHaptics to haptic experts!

What do you think are some of the challenges currently facing this industry? How does an event like this help to address and explore those challenges?

At a time when the demand for Wearable Haptics is higher than ever, I believe it's crucial for many Haptics Researchers and decision-makers to come together, collaborate, and reach consensus. In this regard, an industry-focused conference like Smart Haptics is undeniably essential.

What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

Just like last year, I'm really looking forward to the presentations by other speakers. And since it's a Haptics conference, I'm naturally excited about the demonstrations as well. Moreover, being based in South Korea, it's challenging for us to connect with haptics professionals from companies in the US or Europe. This conference seems like an excellent opportunity for introductions and networking!