Greetings from the east coast!

I’m here in Waltham, MA (almost but not quite Boston), for the IEEE Haptics Symposium, which is being held as the final sub-conference of IEEE VR 2010. I arrived last night, seemingly well-coordinated with the departure of the other ISU attendees of the conference. I’ll be updating this blog regularly during the two-day event, with brief notes and perhaps some photos, if I can get my cell phone to transfer photos without beeping loudly.

My first impressions are that the conference environment seems very welcoming.  The first presentations are on fingertip and tactile haptic systems, an area I’ve never really looked into, so it’s all new to me.  There’s quite a bit of technical interest in the physiological and psychophysical interaction and the cutaneous receptors. Some of this research seem to be slick new hardware that would be cool to have.  (Example: how about haptic floor tiles in the C4 or its replacement? Simulate the effects of walking on natural surfaces like gravel, snow, etc…)

It’s reassuring that the questions that come to my mind while listening to the presentations seem to be generally either a: technical/terminology details a quick Google can answer, or b: also occurring to other, presumably more experienced conference attendees who bravely stand up and actually ask questions after the presentations.

I’ve been to academic conferences before, and have even presented.  That said, this research area is relatively new to me, so I imagine that this experience will teach me quite a bit about what to do and what not to do in conference presentations in this field.  After the first few presentations, I already have a few notes.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the presentations, as well as the demos – there’s nothing like a haptics conference to literally get in touch with new developments!  I’m resisting the urge to pull out the USB proceedings and browse the papers from the rest of IEEE VR and 3DUI that interested me but that I wasn’t present for – I’ll take a look at those later.  I think I will probably soon have to come up with a better system for archiving papers than keeping them all on my Dropbox, or I will run out of space pretty quickly. I’ve got the CHI 2010 conference (and thus its proceedings) coming up in early April, WINVR2010 in May, and I imagine those won’t be my last conferences…

More later!

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