Creative Haptic Expression: Trends and Tools

Morning Workshop (Aria, 9:00-12:00)

Tools that afford creative expression share certain characteristics: They provide stable mappings, rich feedback, and meaningful embodied interaction. Digital tools for creative expression have matured and grown extraordinarily complex and powerful for the visual and audio domains. It's possible to learn new techniques for digital artmaking continuously for years or decades without exhausting the creative possibilities or the fun of exploring the tools' expressive potential.

Haptics is in a different stage. Haptic effect rendering has traditionally been the domain of systems engineers and firmware developers. Only very recently have abstract design tools for haptic experimentation begun to be developed. Many companies and institutions develop their own tools in house to meet their unique needs.

It is our belief that the logical and inevitable next step in the development of haptic creation tools is for some amount consistency to develop in the tools and approaches to creative haptic design. The goal of this open workshop is to invite leading thinkers in creative haptic design to share their learnings and expertise with their counterparts across this nascent industry, with the hope that sharing approaches and techniques leads to shared understanding and opportunities for the tools to improve.


  • Researchers and students developing new haptic technologies and experiences.
  • People who want to understand the state of the art of haptic authoring tools.
  • Designers from audio and visual domains who want to understand the problems and prospects of haptics as a new creative medium.

Tentative Program

9:00 Opening remarks
David Birnbaum, Immersion Corporation, USA
9:05 A studio tool for haptic post production
David Birnbaum, Immersion Corporation, USA
To enable the video content industry to incorporate haptic experiences into ads, games, and short form content, we developed a workflow and toolchain targeted at the needs of audio post production facilities. This presentation will provide an overview of our methodology for identifying the wants and needs of our creative stakeholders, as well as the process of designing tools for them.
9:30 The diverse tasks of haptic design and tools to support them
Karon MacLean and Oliver Schneider, UBC, Canada
Haptic design is a complex activity composed of many different tasks, with some aspects and needs common to other mediums and some that are unique to it. A full design project may involve browsing ideas for inspiration, many ways of creating and incorporating elements and modifying them, and sharing it at different points with various collaborators and communities. We articulate the diversity of these tasks and discuss lessons from equally diverse tools built to aid designers.
10:00 Haptic cinematography: Authoring haptic feedback for movies
Fabien Danieau, Technicolor, France
Recent research works have shown the potential of haptic feedback for augmenting the movie experience. Yet the creation and edition of haptic feedback is still a challenging task. In this talk we will present the haptic authoring tools developed at Technicolor, and we will discuss the new concept of Haptic Cinematography.
10:30 Coffee break
10:45 Automatic synthesis of vibrotactile and motion effects
Seungmoon Choi, POSTECH, Korea
In this talk, I am going to present recent research results about automatic synthesis of vibrotactile and motion effects from video and audio data. By converting sound to vibrotactile stimuli, we can enhance the user experiences of music listening and game playing. By extracting motion from video, we can provide compelling automatic motion effects to the viewers of 4D films. Algorithms for these purposes will be described, as well as associated user studies.
11:15 Future challenges, risks, and trends in creative motion expression: D-BOX Return of Experience
Jean-François Ménard, D-Box, Canada
Creating rich motion feedback experiences is a challenging task. There is a constant pressure to do more in less time. This presentation will share experiences from a motion creation pioneer.
11:45 Audience questions


David Birnbaum   Director of User Experience Design, Immersion Corporation

David Birnbaum has been creating haptic experiences for over 10 years. He has worked in the fields of user experience, mobility, wearables, gaming, medical devices, and rich interactive media. A leading expert in haptic design, he's driven by a desire to tell stories with the sense of touch and to bring emotion and realism to digital experiences. David holds a B.S. in Music Industry from USC and a M.A. in Music Technology from McGill University. He is a named inventor on over 70 patents pending and issued.