2018 Speakers

Smithers Apex is pleased to announce the Smart Haptics 2018 speakers

Expert speakers include:

  • David Birnbaum

    Director, UX Design Immersion Corp.

    David Birnbaum, Director, UX Design at Immersion Corporation, has been creating haptic experiences for over 10 years, in which time he’s been named as an inventor on over 60 patents in the fields of user experience, wearables, gaming, medical devices, mobile communication, and rich interactive media. A leading expert in haptic design, he leads a team responsible for developing the tactile aesthetics of emerging technologies. David is driven by a desire to tell stories with the sense of touch and to bring emotion and realism to digital experiences. He holds a B.S. in Music Industry from USC and a M.A. in Music Technology from McGill University.

  • Sonja Brown

    Director of Marketing, Piezo and Protection Devices TDK Corporation

    Sonja Brown is Director of Marketing for Piezo and Protection Products for TDK in North America. She has 25+ years of experience in the electronic components sector encompassing product development, engineering, operations, sales, and marketing. 

  • Seungmoon Choi, Ph.D.

    Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

    Seungmoon Choi is a professor of computer science and engineering with a joint appointment from creative IT engineering at Pohang University of Science and Engineering (POSTECH) in Korea. He has worked on haptics for about 20 years with emphasis on haptic rendering and perception, publishing over 150 research papers. In particular, his research has been centered around authoring technologies and solutions of haptic content in a firm belief that facilitating the production of haptic content should precede, or at least go in parallel with, other technological advances for haptic devices and rendering software. His basic research outcomes and experiences have been applied to mobile phone, automobiles, virtual prototyping, and consumer electronics. He is the recipient of the 2011 Early Career Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics.

    He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in control and instrumentation engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea in 1995 and 1997, respectively. He earned the Ph.D degree in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA in 2003.

    He is an associate editor of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, and Virtual Reality. He was also an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Haptics, where he was cited for Meritorious Service Award in 2014 as an associate editor and in 2008 as a reviewer. He volunteered for various service roles in the haptics and relevant research communities. Major ones include: the co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics in 2009-2010, the general co-chair of IEEE Haptics Symposium in 2014 and 2016, and the program chair of IEEE World Haptics 2015.

  • J. Edward Colgate

    Breed University Design Professor at Northwestern University Tanvas

    J. Edward Colgate is the Breed University Design Professor and a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Colgate’s principal research interest is haptic interface.  He is the co-inventor of a class of collaborative robots known as “cobots” and a suite of technologies for bringing programmable haptic feedback to touch surfaces. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics and is a Fellow of the IEEE and the National Academy of Inventors.

  • Sinclair Fleming

    Lead Engineer Starbreeze Studios

    Sinclair Fleming is Lead Engineer at Starbreeze Studios.  He is responsible for turning the creative vision of virtual reality experience designers into tangible objects and practical sets in location-based VR facilities such as IMAX VR.  Since joining Starbreeze, he has overseen prop design for titles such as The Mummy: Prodigium Strike and John Wick Chronicles.  He previously held positions as Director of Engineering at Radiant Images and Technical Director at Avalanche 3D Entertainment.  As a well-known innovator and educator in digital cinema, stereoscopic 3D and live VR capture, his current focus is to utilize technology to fully envelop the audience with sensory stimuli that transports them to new places and worlds.

  • Coralie Gallis, Ph.D.

    Senior Strategic Partnerships-North America CEAtech

    Coralie Gallis graduated as a PhD in Materials Sciences from Paris University and has an engineering degree in Physic-Chemistry. Coralie has worked for 20 years in the semiconductor field, holding various positions in different companies from software designer, Intelligent Specialist, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. During her career, she developed the business for various domains such as BioMedical electronics, wearable electronics for healthcare, wellness and Food industry. Since 2016, she is based in Silicon Valley and manages the Strategic Industrial Partnerships for the North American Market for CEAtech, a French technology research center.

  • Ryan Genz

    CEO CuteCircuit

    The work of world’s first wearable-technology fashion brand CuteCircuit interweaves
    leading edge fashion design with emerging technologies and smart fabrics to create
    fashions that not only look beautiful, but carry within them magical capabilities and
    interactive connections which create a new paradigm for both innovation and sustainable
    fashion production. CuteCircuit’s co-founders, Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz, have a
    background in fashion design (Valentino), and interaction design and anthropology
    respectively and hold a number of patents in the field of wearable technology such as 3D
    Augmented Reality Audio and sensor enhanced fabric constructions.

    CuteCircuit introduced internet connected clothing and touch (haptic) telecommunication
    with products such as the Hug Shirt in 2002 (awarded by Time magazine as one of the
    Best Inventions of the Year in 2006). The Galaxy Dress introduced in 2008 (part of the
    permanent collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago) remains today
    the world’s largest wearable luminous display and it is a truly magical and mesmerising
    garment.

    Social media connected clothing such as the world’s first haute couture Twitter Dress was
    introduced in 2012. CuteCircuit also became the first fashion label to put wearable
    technology on the red carpet when Katy Perry wore a CuteCircuit gown to the Met Gala
    in 2010, and the same year CuteCircuit introduced the first line of technologically
    advanced ready-to-wear at Selfridges in London. The Graphene Dress, the world’s first
    dress made using graphene was created in 2017.

    The fashion collections presented on-schedule at New York Fashion week introduced
    luxury ready-to-wear fashions and accessories that can be controlled via a smartphone
    app to allow the wearer to change the colour and functionality of their garments at the
    touch of a button. CuteCircuit also recently collaborated with Chanel and Converse.
    Many garments from the CuteCircuit collections are on display and in collections of
    museums all over the world, such as the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts
    Boston, Museum at FIT, etc.

    Currently at Cooper Hewitt the Smithsonian Design Museum
    in New York is the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the
    music during a concert through touch sensations, on display in the Access+Ability
    exhibition. CuteCircuit’s infiniTshirt, the world’s first connected t-shirt (formerly known as
    tshirtOS), is part of the exhibition “T-shirt: Cult, Culture, and Subversion" at the Fashion
    and Textile Museum in London.

  • Sarah Hashkes

    Co-Founder Radix Motion

    Sarah combines knowledge from her cognitive neuroscience studies with extensive background in movement and martial arts (certified martial arts and self-defense instructor) to create Virtual Reality experiences that hack the brain-body connection. After consulting for many VR start ups in fields of health and education she has co-founded her own company, Radix Motion, to create personalized movement training in VR that integrates into the daily workflow.

  • Vincent Hayward

    Chief Scientific Officer Actronika SAS

    Vincent Hayward is a Professor at the Sorbonne Université in Paris, presently on leave. He was before with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University, Montréal, Canada, where he became a full Professor in 2006 and was the Director of the McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines from 2001 to 2004. Vincent Hayward is an elected a Fellow of the IEEE. Since January 2017, he is Professor of Tactile Perception and Technology at the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London, supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship. Over the past decade Vincent developed a computational theory of tactile perception that is grounded in the physics of mechanical interactions. During his tenure at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, Vincent  relates this theory to the cognitive and metacognitive functions of the brain. He spends part of his time contributing to the development of Actronika SAS in Paris, dedicated to lowering the accessibility barrier of haptic technology and also help develop a tactile communication technology for use by the Deafblind.

  • Martin Holly

    VP / Co-Founder Striker VR

    Coming soon!

  • Gijs Huisman, PhD

    Co-Founder HEY Bracelet

    Gijs Huisman directs societally relevant research at the Digital Society School in Amsterdam and combines his academic work with the development of ground breaking haptic products for social interactions at House of Haptics. He is one of the key persons behind HEY Bracelet, a wearable bracelet for social touch through the Internet.

    Gijs is an expert on human-technology relationships particularly in the domain of haptic technology for which he has coined the term Social Touch Technology. He holds a cum laude Master's degree in communication science and a PhD in computer science. He is a passionate science communicator and has initiated numerous professional and academic symposiums and workshops (e.g. ThingsCon, CHI) and has been invited speaker at several (inter-)national venues (e.g. TEDx). 

  • Shasha Jumbe, PhD

    Co-Founder, Electronics & Data Stack Context AI

    Shasha is a co-founder and the Technology and Data Stack lead at Context AI. He is an established healthcare and drug development problem solver and brings an ensemble of mathematical modeling, machine learning, electronics, signal processing, biology & physiology, and drug development tools to the collision of Engineering, Mathematical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences. His distinguished career spans innovative data science applications in implantable devices, artificial kidney irreversible thermodynamics, telemetry, biotechnology, infectious disease, oncology, immunology, precision medicine, child growth, and development and Global Health. Most recently, he was a senior program officer leading the Healthy Birth, Growth and Development knowledge integration (HBGDki) at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also held data science positions at Amgen- as a senior scientist, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG- as Virology Disease Modeling Expert and Genentech- as Head of Modeling and Simulation.

    Shasha’s North Star goal is an innovation-on-demand platform that fully capitalizes on rapidly evolving progress in materials science, electronic transducers, and information technologies to develop intelligent health platforms and democratize diagnostics. His goal is to leverage data and advanced analytics to provide actionable and immediate insights on health state and status, in order to promote preventive care, improve quality of life for patients, and predict and prevent costly medical events for care providers and payors.

  • Gilad Kat

    P&G Europe Communication Planning Director MediaCom

     - Communication Planning Director in charge of P&G brands in Europe.

    - Former head of Israel’s Advertising Agencies Association's Strategy committee.

    - Lead Mediacom’s Planning AoR for P&G Israel.

    - Served on the jury of the 2010 Cannes Lions Advertising Festival and throughout the years lead Mediacom teams to winning several industry awards including a Cannes Lions Media Grand Prix ,a Gold and several Bronzes in addition to Procter & Gamble’s Global Media Award and Brand Building award.

    - A regular contributor to Advertising 101 text book – Kleppner’s Advertising Procedure.

  • Peter Kurstjens

    CEO Aito-Touch

    Peter Kurstjens is CEO of Aito, a fast-growing company and pioneer in piezo-based touch and haptic technology. With more than 20 years of experience in consumer and automotive electronics, Peter is a recognized expert in commercializing emerging technologies. Before joining Aito in 2014, Peter worked in senior management positions for Philips and Wacom in Silicon Valley, Japan and Europe. He is a graduate of the University of Twente (Netherlands) and has earned master’s degrees in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering.

  • Eric Lawrence

    Regional Manager Polytec

    Eric Lawrence is the West Coast Regional Manager for Polytec Inc. in Irvine, CA.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from University of California Santa Barbara and Master’s Degree in Physics from California State University Long Beach.  He is a native of Southern California from Huntington Beach and his background is laser optics.   Eric has over 22 years’ experience at Polytec as a specialist in technology for laser-based vibration measurements.  

  • Dimitri Mikhalchuk

    CBDMO and Senior Vice President Teslasuit

    Mr Dimitri Mikhalchuk is an expert in electronics, haptics, wearables, robotics and software development. Mr Mikhalchuk has worked with the world’s leading chip and electronics manufacturers before moving on to establish own business. Currently he is CBDMO at Teslasuit startup company, bringing the world’s first full-body tactile haptic suit with motion capture, temperature control and biometrics for virtual reality.

  • Michael Morimoto, Ph.D.

    Electronics & Data Science Stack Context AI

    Coming soon!

  • Francesca Rosella

    Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder CuteCircuit

    The work of world’s first wearable-technology fashion brand CuteCircuit interweaves
    leading edge fashion design with emerging technologies and smart fabrics to create
    fashions that not only look beautiful, but carry within them magical capabilities and
    interactive connections which create a new paradigm for both innovation and sustainable
    fashion production. CuteCircuit’s co-founders, Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz, have a
    background in fashion design (Valentino), and interaction design and anthropology
    respectively and hold a number of patents in the field of wearable technology such as 3D
    Augmented Reality Audio and sensor enhanced fabric constructions.

    CuteCircuit introduced internet connected clothing and touch (haptic) telecommunication
    with products such as the Hug Shirt in 2002 (awarded by Time magazine as one of the
    Best Inventions of the Year in 2006). The Galaxy Dress introduced in 2008 (part of the
    permanent collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago) remains today
    the world’s largest wearable luminous display and it is a truly magical and mesmerising
    garment.

    Social media connected clothing such as the world’s first haute couture Twitter Dress was
    introduced in 2012. CuteCircuit also became the first fashion label to put wearable
    technology on the red carpet when Katy Perry wore a CuteCircuit gown to the Met Gala
    in 2010, and the same year CuteCircuit introduced the first line of technologically
    advanced ready-to-wear at Selfridges in London. The Graphene Dress, the world’s first
    dress made using graphene was created in 2017.

    The fashion collections presented on-schedule at New York Fashion week introduced
    luxury ready-to-wear fashions and accessories that can be controlled via a smartphone
    app to allow the wearer to change the colour and functionality of their garments at the
    touch of a button. CuteCircuit also recently collaborated with Chanel and Converse.
    Many garments from the CuteCircuit collections are on display and in collections of
    museums all over the world, such as the Barbican Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts
    Boston, Museum at FIT, etc.

    Currently at Cooper Hewitt the Smithsonian Design Museum
    in New York is the SoundShirt, a garment that allows deaf audience members to feel the
    music during a concert through touch sensations, on display in the Access+Ability
    exhibition. CuteCircuit’s infiniTshirt, the world’s first connected t-shirt (formerly known as
    tshirtOS), is part of the exhibition “T-shirt: Cult, Culture, and Subversion" at the Fashion
    and Textile Museum in London.

  • Liron Schifter

    Gilette Brand Manager P&G

    Liron Schifter is the Head of Creative Technology in P&G Israel, working across brands to locate innovative technologies that can be used to give a creative edge to each of the brands’ marketing strategies. In the past 4 years Liron has been the end-to-end leader of several of P&G’s “Billion Dollar Brands” in Israel such as Gillette, Pampers & Oral-B. During this time Liron initiated and led several highly recognized campaigns, among them the 2 times Cannes Lions winner “I Don’t Roll On Shabbos” campaign for Gillette Deodorants (which was also awarded “2018 Campaign of The Year” by M&M Global) & Silver Cannes Lions Winner Gillette’s #Babyface being the 1st campaign using Skin To Surface Smart Haptics Technology in advertising.

  • Vivek (Vik) Sreedhar

    Marketing and Technology Manager Alps Electric

    Vivek Sreedhar is a Marketing and Technology Manager at Alps Electric and focuses on new product and technology development. He has a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as a Masters in Business Administration. He has 13 years of experience working in the Automotive, Medical and Telecom industries. He recently relocated to Silicon Valley from Michigan but his heart still remains in Detroit and with his home team the Detroit Lions.

  • Tim Szeto

    CEO and Founder Nanoport Technology

    Tim Szeto is CEO and founder of Nanoport Technology, multiple patent holder and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee.  Tim started programming at the age of 12 and built his first business, an interactive agency serving local businesses at 15.  In 2009, Tim Launched NanodotsⓇ Magnetic Constructors, an award-winning consumer product sold in over 40 countries. 

    Today, Tim combines his knowledge in software engineering and magnetics as the CEO of Nanoport Technology, an award-winning R&D Lab located in Silicon Valley developing future technologies for major players in the mobile industry.

  • Hong Z. Tan

    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University tangerineX

    Hong Z. Tan has conducted haptic research for about 30 years. Her MIT doctoral dissertation was the first study to demonstrate an information rate of 12 bits/s with a multi-finger haptic display that was developed as a tactile aid for the hearing impaired. Tan received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P.R. China. She earned her Master and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. Tan was a recipient of the prestigious US National Science Foundation's Early Faculty Development (CAREER) Award, and she was a Chinese National Natural Science Funds’ Distinguished (Overseas) Young Scholar. She has served on numerous program committees, was a co-organizer of Haptics Symposium from 2003 to 2005, Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics in 2006, Editor-in-Chief of the World Haptics Conference Editorial Board from 2012 to 2015, and co-chair of the World Haptics Conference in 2015. Tan has served on many journal editorial boards and received a Meritorious Service Award from the IEEE Transactions on Haptics in 2012. From 2011-2015, Tan was a Visiting Researcher, then a Senior Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, China. She is keen on applying research to real-world problems and serves as a consultant for companies interested in developing novel haptic systems for consumer products. Tan is founder and CEO of tangerineX, a startup that creates interfaces that touch us back. Tan is a Fellow of the IEEE.

  • Dominic Webber

    Marketing Director Cambridge Mechatronics

    Dominic Webber is the Marketing Director at Cambridge Mechatronics, with broad experience in marketing, product development, business development and strategy. Cambridge Mechatronics has developed a platform technology for the precision control of smart materials that ships in smartphone cameras, drones and wearable devices. This technology has also been applied to miniature actuators for next generation haptic experiences. Dominic has an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Warwick and over twenty years industry experience.

  • Billie Whitehouse

    CEO Wearable X

    Billie Whitehouse is the CEO, designer and director of Wearable X. Once compared to Elon
    Musk by Business Insider, Billie specializes in the combination of hardware, software and
    apparel for wearable technology products. Forbes recently compared Billie to Steve Jobs and
    Jerry Seinfeld. Known for her development of Nadi X and Fan Jersey recently presented at
    Super Bowl 50, Billie is invigorating the fashion industry and transforming it into a business
    focused on improving the quality of our lives.

    Billie is an aesthetic specialist with a naturally inquisitive nature towards technology and
    innovation. As a garment engineer she strongly believes people should not have to look like the
    technology that they have grown to love and depend on. Billie’s designs are sharp,
    experimental, naturally confident and subtly feminine in appearance integrated with the latest
    technology.

    Business Insider recently named Billie as one of the 30 most important women under 30 in tech
    and she was named in the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. The
    highlight for Billie in 2016 was winning The Wearable Award in Paris at Show Room Privé as
    well as being featured on the Jimmy Fallon Show. In 2017 the highlight was being named one of
    the most innovative companies in Fitness by Fast Company.

    Billie is a renowned keynote speaker with presentations stretching from WORLDZ
    2017, Synergy Global 2017 at Madison Square Garden, The New Yorker Tech Fest 2016,
    Fortune’s Elevate 2016, Belgium Fashion Congress 2015, Cannes Lions 2015/2016, Wired UK 2015, Conde Nast Digital Russia 2016, India Fashion Forum 2016 and many more.

  • Hsin-Yun Yao

    Senior Staff Engineer, Clear-Com & Research Scientist Motsai Research

    Hsin-Yun has always had multiple projects going on, in both industry and the research. With a background in research in Haptics, she has worked in the fields of audio intercom systems, e-commerce, telecom systems. Her interests include vibrotactile haptic actuators and perception, audio signal processing, computer system architecture and Linux/embedded systems.