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6/02/2019

HAID 2019 : A conference on tomorrow's interactive devices

From March 13 to 15, the HAID conference organized at Inria Lille will bring together researchers from the audio, haptics and human-computer interaction communities. This event will provide a forum for dialogue on inventing tomorrow's interactive devices, and will also include a day dedicated to exchanges with industry.

"At a time when images are reaching unheard-of performances, such as with 4K resolution televisions or the latest smartphone screens, we are becoming more and more sensitive to other stimulations, such as sound or touch, in our interactions with our devices. Now it so happens that these two areas ofare too often compartmentalized ," observes Marcelo Wanderey, researcher at McGill University in Montreal and holder of an International Chair in the Loki* team at the Inria center in Lille."We are convinced, however, that considering these two areas together is what will create the experiences of tomorrow ," adds Thomas Pietrzak, assistant professor at the University of Lille and member of the Loki team. That is why the two researchers decided to organize the HAID 2019 conference, which will be taking place from 13 to 15 March 2019 at Inria Lille.

The aim of this conference is therefore to bring together three research communities that do not usually work together: audio, haptics – which consists of exploiting tactile sensations to develop new systems, the best known applications being tactile feedback on smartphones or the force feedback joysticks used in video games – and human-machine interaction (HMI), which aims to develop new interactions between humans and computer systems, or to make existing interactions more intuitive.

Focus on innovation in music

The conference is expected to host up to 200 academic and industry participants from Europe, Asia and North America, to discuss these technologies of the future. There will be a special emphasis on innovation in music:"this is a perfect example of a multi-disciplinary team. We arelooking, for example, to create new instruments combining sounds and physical sensations to generate appealing new ways of making sound ," explains Marcelo Wanderey. The other areas of applications liable to mix audio, haptics and HMI include video games, virtual reality and medical devices.

Organizing this conference at the Inria center in Lille seemed the natural thing to do to the Loki team, which is conducting numerous research projects at the intersection of these different fields. "For example, we are exploring devices capable of replacing screens by transmitting certain information by touch. As an alternative or a complement to connected watches, we could therefore imagine bracelets that would vibrate according to the texture of objects handled, or inform us on how far a set target has been met, such as the number of steps to be taken over the day ", explains Thomas Pietrzak.

 

A first in 7 years

This first HAID conference for 7 years is also a rebirth: a number of editions were already organized between 2006 and 2013 by Stephen Brewster, Professor at the University of Glasgow, "but all Stephen's time was taken up by his research work - now recognized worldwide - and he had to give up HAID. That left a gap in the research landscape: although there are conferences dedicated to audio, haptics and HMI on their own, none of them combined all three fields. So we decided to take up the torch again, and Stephen gave us his blessing ,"says a satisfied Thomas Pietrzak.

As proof of the momentum in this field, now more topical than ever, for the first time this 2019 edition will include an industry & academia day.  

  The idea is to get a mutually beneficial dialogue going." Professionals come along with problems, which can be interesting areas for researchers to work on," emphasizes Thomas Pietrzak

Among the participants in this event, there will be a number of start-ups that are part of the local economic fabric, but also influential firms in the sector. The conference also counts among its sponsors Facebook Reality Labs, which is exploring the digital giant's virtual reality activities, Ableton, publisher of computer-assisted music software, and hap2U, an SME specializing in touch interfaces for smartphones. "You can tell that there is a real interest: some large firms have contacted me to ask if we have any students to work on these new usages", confides Marcelo Wanderley.

*Loki is a joint Inria-CRIStAL team (CRIStAL = Centrale Lille, CNRS, University of Lille)

Keywords: IHM Haptique Audio Musique Workshop international

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