I presented work on the perception of vibrotactile information at CHI this year. After an amazing Nordic-Party on Tuesday night (which apparently went on until after 4am) I was super pleased to present to a full room at 9am the next morning :-). The paper was titled From Pulse Trains to “Coloring with Vibrations”: Motion Mappings for Mid-Air Haptic Textures and is work done together with Sebastian Boring and Casper Hornbaek.
Also, check out our zPatch paper and the project website. This was work done at the HCC with Jarrod Knibbe, Sebastian Boring and Kasper Hornbaek. We also created an instructables. We were super pleased by the reception we got both at the conference and online. During the demo sessions multiple people decided to make their own sensors right then and there, and it was super nice to demo something that people were interested in because of how useful to their own projects they thought it might become. Online, Arduino tweeted about our project and posted it to Facebook, hackster.io featured it in their newsletter and Hackaday wrote about it.
Things I really enjoyed at TEI 2018 included an exceptionally diverse crowd of curious, engaged and helpful people willing to share. TEI is typically good this way, but this year felt like it had a better gender balance than last year and was most certainly younger. I also enjoyed how the demos and exhibits were organized. Having new demos each day, rather than having them basically all at once allowed me to engage with many more projects than in previous versions of the conference.
Another thing I enjoyed was that there was a serious effort by many authors to make their work accessible. There were at least four papers that provided instructables on how to recreate their hardware and many others that open sourced their design or code in some way.
There were three presentations that left an especially strong impression. The first was by Irene Posch on the design of tools that are inspired by and shape etextile craft. The visual presentation was beautiful, the work was discussed in a clear and easy-to-follow way, and Irene both had me nodding my head in approval where she described situations and practices I am familiar with, while at the same time surprising me with ideas and solutions that I had never considered, but now want to implement in my own practice.
The keynote by Anna Lundh was haunting and beautiful.
I also really enjoyed the talk by Daniel Reinhart and Jörg Hurtienne. They staged their work on evaluation of tangible props as if it was a dramatic reading of a play, full of intrigue and suspense (though I’d still need a lot more discussion for them to convince me of their findings…).
My favorite demos included MacroScope by Dorothe Smit and colleagues from Salzburg, Mechamagnets by Clement Zhang and Ellen Do, and Loominary by Anne Sullivan. What I especially enjoyed about Anne Sullivan’s work, was that we were able to look at finished woven scarves and I could point to the weaving and ask ‘What happened here?’. Anne could then recall which narrative and what choices led to the pattern in question. The whole thing had something akin to a lost arcane art.
So, in summary, I had an amazing week. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!
I am currently visiting the Responsive Environments group at the MIT Media Lab. I’ve been expanding on my haptic feedback work, as well as helping out with a robotics project as part of the Media Labs Space Initiative.
Somehow, someone decided to publish some of my grumblings about telerobotics and how I was unhappy about how last years CHI organizing committee responded to the travel ban.
I am proud to have received an honorable mention for my CHI paper “Generating Haptic Textures with a Vibrotactile Actuator”.
I also feel honored to collaborate with some extremely talented textile artists and researchers: Rachel Freire, Cedric Honnet & Maurin Donneaud. We presented a demo at TEI on designing eTextiles for the body and will be presenting a full paper at NIME on a textile music controller.
My recent publications:
Paul Strohmeier & Kasper Hornbæk. Generating Haptic Textures with a Vibrotactile Actuator. CHI ’17
Maurin Donneaud, Cedric Honnet & Paul Strohmeier. Designing a Multi-Touch eTextile for Music Performances. NIME ’17
Rachel Freire, Cedric Honnet, & Paul Strohmeier. Second Skin: An Exploration of eTextile Stretch Circuits on the Body. Demo, TEI ’17.
Strohmeier. Coupling Motion and Perception in Body Based UI. Graduate Student Consortium, TEI ’17