I’ve got’a feel(ing)
Making it easier to incorporate touch into the digital and immersive creative arts
The world would be a pretty bland place if we couldn’t touch it, the creation of some, perhaps most, of the greatest creative works required the sense of touch: guitarists feeling the strings beneath their fingers, painters feeling the soft interplay between brush and canvas, dancers feeling the contact between their feet and the dance floor. All and more would be impossible to recreate without the sense of touch, guitar riffs would be clumsy, paintings and sculpture would lack subtlety and sophistication, dancing would probably be impossible. Sometimes if you can’t touch it, you can’t do it.
The sense of touch is innate, intuitive, subconscious, indispensable in daily life, but conspicuously absent in our rapidly expanding digital lives. The massive database of rich content that makes up the modern day internet is a rich source of visual and auditory information, but there isn’t even a standardised way to transmit and store information about touch.
The AoTF funded HAPPIE project has a single central goal: to make the process of working with touch based digital media in the creative industries simpler, more intuitive, and more transparent.
We are building the underpinning software to interface between haptic devices (computer peripherals which can sense and transmit touch experiences) and immersive design tools by creating an authoring pipline for haptics (digital touch) which more closely represents the 3D visual content is designed and authored.
Our consortium includes expert teams from crafts, music, cultural, marketing and assistive background working closely with veteran hardware and software technology developers. This has given us a unique perspective and opportunity to design and inform the next generation of software tools for touch based digital creative design workflows.
The project will culminate in a range of exemplar demonstrations using the technologies created including: interactive museum installations, novel music production interfaces and crafting tools for the visually impaired.
Sometimes you just have to reach out and touch something to really appreciate it, until we can “reach in” to the digital world it will remain only an incomplete reflection of the real world.
Standard VR Headset e.g. Vive, haptic hardware including: Tactai Pen, UltraLeap, SenseGlove & Proprietary Devices
- Dr Alastair Barrow, CEO Generic Robotics Ltd
- Dr Mike King, CEO, Numerion Software
- Jamie Denham, Director, Sliced Bread Animation
- Professor Justin Paterson, Professor of Music Production, University of West London
- Dr Lisa Bowers, Accessibility Lead, Open University
- Dave Patten, Head of New Media, Science Museum Group
Numerion Software Ltd: https://www.numerion-software.com/
University of West London: https://www.uwl.ac.uk/study/music
Sliced Bread Animation: http://sbanimation.com
Open University: http://www.open.ac.uk/
Science Museum: https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/home