Multimedia and information technology are reaching limits in terms of what can be done in multimedia applications with only sight and sound. The next critical step is to bring the sense of “touch” over network connections, which is commonly known as Tele-haptics. Haptics, a term which was derived from the Greek verb “haptesthai” meaning “to touch,” introduces the sense of touch and force into the human-computer interaction. Currently, research on haptics is broadly categorized into human haptics, machine haptics, and computer haptics. Human haptics is mostly conducted by psychologists to study the mechanism of the “touch” modality, while machine haptics refers to the design of haptic devices to reproduce the sense of “touch.” Computer haptics covers all the aspects in haptics applications. The potential of haptics as a new media is quite significant for many applications such as tele-presence, tele-learning, tele-medicine, tele-operation in hazardous environments, industrial design and testing, medicine, gaming, and any related interactive virtual reality application. In this Talk we will give an overview of collaborative haptic virtual environments (C-HAVE), discuss some research issues and address some challenges.
Abdulmotaleb El Saddik, Professor and University Research Chair SITE, University of Ottawa and recipient of, among others, the Friedrich Wilhelm-Bessel Research Award from Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2007) the Premier’s Research Excellence Award (PREA 2004). He is the director of the Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory. He is leading researcher in haptics, service-oriented architectures, collaborative virtual environments and ambient interactive media and communications. He has authored and co-authored three books and more than 250 publications. He has received research grants and contracts totaling more than $14 million and has supervised more than 90 researchers. His research has been selected for the BEST Paper Award 3 times. He is an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and Fellow of IEEE.