Dr. Oliver Schneider and the CanHaptics Network

Tuesday, November 2, 2021
by Games Institute

For the past few years, Dr. Oliver Schneider has been working hard to build a network of Hapticians across Canada—CanHaptics. Or, as it’s described on the CanHaptics website, “we make technology more human by making it physical – pushing out from the screen to be graspable, holdable, and engage with all of your senses – and do so by putting people, not technology, first”. The Covid-19 pandemic put haptic technology research between a rock and a hard place; how does one study human interaction with technology, remotely? When physical touch is limited, if not prohibited? The result was CanHaps501, a cross-institutional graduate course on haptic information design taken by students from all across Canada and internationally.

In Spring 2021, The CanHaptics Network, focused on expanding and building their reach by hosting a CanHaptics seminar series.  With one seminar per month, the focus of this miniseries was to feature researchers and their labs from across the CanHaptics Network. This included:

  1. Dr. Oliver Schneider, leader of the Haptic Computing Lab, located in Waterloo, at the GI.
  2. Dr. Pourang Irani, member of the Manitoba HCI Lab
  3. Dr. Jeremy Cooperstock, leader of the Shared Reality Lab located at McGill University
  4. Dr. Vincent Lévesque, leader of the Haptic User Experience (HUX) Lab at École de Technologie Supérieure, located in Montreal
  5. Dr. Karon MacLean, leader of the SPIN Lab located at the University of British Colombia