What is This Workshop About?

Despite their widespread adoption, commercial smart assistant technologies have not evolved significantly in the last decade from an interaction perspective. Indeed, a user explicitly formulates a request, e.g., using their voice, and the system attempts to respond to the user’s demand. We believe that haptics have the potential to drastically shift how we interact with smart assistant technologies by offering rich, private and social interaction opportunities.

In this virtual workshop, we aim to bring together experts from both auditory and haptic interaction design to 1) exchange on how the subtleties of haptics could be employed to augment or address limitations of speech-based smart assistant technologies, and 2) collaboratively imagine what it would mean to live with a general purpose purely haptic smart assistant.

Through our keynote presentation and interactive explorations of these core topics, we hope to build a unifying research agenda, share ongoing work and most importantly encourage collaborations in this nascent research space.

This workshop is part of the 11th International Workshop on Haptic & Audio Interaction Design (HAID 2022). As such, all workshop participants must also be registered to HAID 2022.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Pedro Lopes, PhD - Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago

The main question that drives my research is: what is the next interface paradigm that supersedes wearable devices? I argue that the new paradigm is one in which interactive devices will integrate with the user’s biological senses and actuators. This way of engineering devices that intentionally borrow parts of the user’s biology puts forward a new generation of miniaturized devices; allowing us to circumvent traditional physical constraints. For instance, in the case of our devices based on electrical muscle stimulation, they demonstrate how our body-device integration circumvents the constraints imposed by the ratio of electrical power and size of a motor. Taking this further, we demonstrate how our body-device integration approach allowed us to also miniaturize thermal feedback (hot/cold sensations) without the need for power-hungry thermal devices. We believe that these bodily-integrated devices are the natural succession to wearable interfaces and allow us to investigate how interfaces might connect to our bodies in a more direct and personal way.

What type of workshop is this?

The structure of this workshop is heavily inspired by speculative design practices. Following a brief introduction and keynote presentations, all workshop participants will be invited to actively contribute to brainstorming and discussion activities aimed at sharing, learning, synthesizing and more generally broadening our perspectives around the topic of voice- and haptic-based smart assistant interactions. This may include sharing and organizing ideas on a virtual collaborative tool such as Miro.

Spanning the spectrum of voice- to purely haptic-driven smart assistant interactions, we believe this workshop will offer all HAID attendees the opportunity to contribute meaningfully and most importantly learn from each other's expertise.

How can I participate?

Let us know you are interested in joining us using this form and we will contact you with the details as the event approaches.

Anticipated Outcomes

We are planning to synthesize the emerging themes and discussions of this workshop into a collective paper. This event might furthermore become the first of a series of workshops on the theme of haptics and smart assistant technologies.


13:00 Introduction
13:10 Keynote Presentation - Integrating interactive devices with the user’s body
Pedro Lopes, University of Chicago
13:45 Brainstorming Session - How can haptics be used to augment voice interactions with smart assistants?
14:15 Brainstorming Session - Imagining living with a purely haptic smart assistant
14:50 Workshop Recap


Pascal E. Fortin, Postdoctoral Researcher - Haptic User Experience Group, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Canada.

Vincent Levesque, Professor - Haptic User Experience Group, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Canada.

Christian Frisson, Researcher and Developper - SAT Metalab, Montreal, Canada.