Wednesday, 8 December
VRST 2021 welcomes Aimi Sekiguchi as the keynote speaker. She is a VR artist who has produced VR artworks and has performed live painting stage performances in various countries. In this keynote, she will showcase her VR live painting.
Thursday, 9 December
* Update: Although due to personal reasons, Dr. Subramanian is unable to attend, his long-term colleague Diego will present their joint work in this Keynote.
My research is driven by a vision to deliver novel multi-sensory experiences to users without instrumenting them with wearable or head-mounted displays. In the last decade my team has been exploring ways to create new forms of walk-up-and-use mixed-reality interfaces for immersive visual, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory experiences. As one example, we explored the use of fog screens and soap bubbles to create mid-air displays that provide visual and olfactory feedback to the user. As another example, we built ultrasonic speaker arrays to suspend tiny objects in the acoustic field and manipulate them to create persistence of vision displays. We do this by computing acoustic phase-only holograms that are delivered using the speakers to shape the wavefront. Similarly, we create tactile sensations by focusing the waves on the palm of the user. All these examples create sensation in mid-air – so users don’t have to touch or hold any device to experience it. This talk will cover our recent efforts on these topics and hopefully outline a vision for mixed-reality that embraces more modalities while encouraging walk-up-and-use interactions.
Sriram Subramanian joined University of College London from the University of Sussex in July 2020. He currently holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies on novel interactive systems. His Chair and ERC Advanced grant are on the design and fabrication of new types of sound modulators with a specific emphasis on creating innovative displays, haptics and audio devices. He is primarily interested in the interplay of physical science, engineering and computation to design new and novel user-experiences. One example of such a design is the use of several hundreds of tiny ultrasonic speakers to create the sense of touch through air. This work led to the formation of Ultrahaptics (https://www.ultraleap.com/) a Bristol-based haptics company that he co-founded. Before joining Sussex, he was a Professor of Human-computer Interaction at the University of Bristol and prior to that a senior scientist at Philips Research Labs in Netherlands. He holds an undergraduate in Physics, Masters in Electrical Communication Engineering and PhD in Industrial Design.
Diego Martinez Plasencia is an associate professor at UCL and, together with Professor Marianna Obrist and Professor Sriram Subramanian, co-founder of the Multi-Sensory Devices Group. His research ambition is to create multi-modal interactive systems that allow users to see, hear and feel virtual 3D content in a seamless manner, without any attachments or additional devices (e.g. glasses, gloves). His research involves a combination of 3D display approaches, HCI and applied physics to enable interactive systems, such as multi-view tabletop systems or multi-modal particle based displays (PBDs). His work has been supported by FET and EPSRC and he is currently leading a UK-China Research-Industry Partnership aimed at advancing PBD systems and showcasing them in permanent, large-scale public exhibitions. His work has been demonstrated at international forums, such as Festival della Sciencia or Founders Forum, and received extensive media coverage in ITV, CNN, Discovery Channel, BBC Click or Sky News. Before joining UCL, he was a Lecturer of Interactive 3D graphics at the University of Sussex, a research associate at University of Bristol and assistant lecturer at UCLM.