I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Hasso Plattner Institute working with Patrick Baudisch. I completed my PhD in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, where I worked with Karon MacLean. During my PhD, I worked with Disney Research, first as an intern and then as a consultant.

I research Human-Computer Interaction, specifically, Haptic Computing. Haptic technology engages the sense of touch by providing physical feedback to users. I argue that the limiting factor for haptic technology is the lack of computing tools – systems that enable the creation, deployment, and large-scale study of haptic feedback. Without these tools, haptic technology will be limited to small, in-lab studies and slow deployment into commercial applications. My long-term goal is a suite of haptic computing tools to assist the creation, deployment, and study of haptic technology.

HaXD: Haptic Experience Design

Haptic Experience Design (HaXD), the process of designing for touch, is extremely challenging but poorly understood. We interviewed professional hapticians to develop a first description of HaXD, identify critical barriers to design, and several recommendations for future support tools. Paper: PDF IJHCS Summary From our research we define HaXD as:…

MacaronMix: Rhythm Interpolation

(with UBC SPIN lab) Morphing - combining two pieces of media into a third in-between one - is a powerful technique for creative control over images and audio. Can the same work for the sense of touch? We developed a new algorithm based on dynamic-time warping to morph rhythm profiles…

Design Tools for Affective Robots

Collaborators: Paul Bucci, David Marino, Laura Cang, Karon MacLean As robots enter our daily lives, they need to communicate believably, that is, emotionally and on human terms. When physical agents gesture, touch, and breathe, they help humans and robots work together, and even lead to applications like robot-assisted therapy. However,…

HandsOn: Enabling Creative e-Learning

Physical action, like playing with springs, interacting with tangibles, or moving your body, can help students learn. Meanwhile, online learning has increased accessibility, connecting students to resources around the globe. How can we connect these two benefits? Haptic technology could enable programmable, online, physical learning, but needs accessible hardware and…

HapTurk: Crowdsourcing Haptics

How do we crowdsource haptics? Platforms like Amazon's Mechanical Turk have enabled rapid, large-scale feedback for text, graphics, and sound. Designers can collect impressions in minutes; researchers run experiments within hours. But sending haptic devices out at such a scale is infeasible. We use two proxy modalities to convey affective…

Macaron: Haptic Design with Examples

Examples can help the design process, but haptic libraries are limited: they are opaque & immutable. We explore the potential for visualized, editable examples in vibrotactile design. Using a new web-based editor, Macaron, as our platform, we establish a picture of vibrotactile design with examples. We find additional access can…

Tactile Animation

Haptic grids allow for rich interactive experiences, producing motion through vibrotactile illusions. We introduce Tactile Animation, an approach that lets animators use a familiar, expressive interface to design haptics on grids, and Mango, a tactile animation tool. Tactile Animation by Direct Manipulation of Grid Displays. 2015. Oliver Schneider, Ali Israr,…

RoughSketch

Touchscreens have revolutionized how we provide information to computers, but they provide little physical feedback. As part of the first haptics Student Innovation Challenge, we set out to find how touchscreens can feel with a drawing application. We used the TPad Phone, which vibrates its screen at high-frequencies to programmatically…

HaXD'15 Workshop

Haptic Experience Design (HaXD) is difficult. We need to develop processes, tools, and vocabulary to better support designers when working with haptics. At World Haptics 2015, we ran a workshop to help develop HaXD by discussing existing practices, identifying challenges, and brainstorming potential solutions. Four speakers from industry and academia…

Feel Messenger

Mobile devices have imbued asynchronous messaging with rich media content. Images, video, and audio can now be sent at a moment’s notice, but this excludes the sense of touch. We introduce Feel Messenger, a messaging app for commercial smartphones that supports customized vibrotactile sensations. Feel Messenger employs Feel Effects,…

FeelCraft

Collaborators: Ali Israr, Siyan Zhao Tactile interactions can make movies, games, and other media more engaging, but there's no support for physical feedback in current media types. FeelCraft is a new way to add touch-based feedback to any media type. We use a library of general tactile effects ("Feel Effects"…

Haptic Jazz

Haptic (touch-based) technology is becoming more prevalent, from vibrations in smartphones to novel gaming devices. Unfortunately, haptic designers do not have the same tools available to them as graphic or audio designers. The Haptic Jazz project improves matters by offering designers a new tool inspired from musical instruments - the…

Real-time Gait Analysis

Smartphones have a wealth of sensors in them. As part of my master's work, I helped develop algorithms that use smartphone accelerometers to measure information about gait (how a person walks). We've developed the RRACE algorithm that can sense a user's cadence (step frequency) without any training on the person.…

Living Phone

Flexible display technology opens up a world of possibilities for novel interaction techniques. We asked, could life-like movement be used by smartphones to communicate information to users? We found that gestural displays were a powerful way to connect with users, especially to convey emotional information. (paper) Collaborators: Jessica Dawson, Joel…

Interactive Muscle Spindle Simulation

The muscle spindle is one of the major organs that provides us with the sense of proprioception, or body location - it's how we know a heavy weight from a light one when working out at the gym. I've taken a computational model of the muscle spindle, implementing it in…

ConsentCanvas

End-User License Agreements (EULAs) are infamous for being unreadable, but still can hold up in court. ConsentCanvas is an open-source system that uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques to structure and "texturize" EULAs to improve readability. This work was inspired by Kay & Terry's initial idea of Texturized Agreements. (Paper)…

Frabjous

Computer-based disease modeling can help epidemiologists track diseases and inform policy, but models can be challenging to understand for non-expert programmers. Frabjous (Functional Reactive Agent-Based Simulation) is a domain-specific language and programming framework that uses the novel approach of functional reactive programming (FRP) to make models more understandable. (paper) Collaborators:…

PythNon

PythNon is a cross-platform problem-solving environment (PSE) designed to aid students and researchers when solving nonlinear algebraic expressions. Oliver's role was to improve the user interface through protyping, user studies, and HCI design principles. He was also involved in programming these changes, revising documentation, and doing final deployment packaging. (software)…

Chalk Sounds

Dynamic audio synthesis can be used to improve groupware awareness in real-time collaborative groupware, especially when visual channels are cluttered or limited. GTBlackboard is a fully shared blackboard application that procedurally generates graphics and audio. It runs on Windows XP, Vista, and 7 using the .NET Framework. (paper) (software) Collaborators:…