Invited Talk - 13th March 2019 – 1pm Arundel Building, Room: 223
Talk by Prof. Sara Price on "‘Virtual’ Touch: An exploration".

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Embodied, sensory technologies are changing the ways in which we can interact with the world and one another, bringing key research questions around the implications for communication and learning. In this talk I will focus on the InTouch project, which is exploring the social implications of digital touch technologies for communication to gain insight into social, political and ethical challenges raised by digital touch, and inform digital touch technology design. I will begin with an overview of our work to date, and then focus on a current case study exploring notions of ‘virtual’ touch, looking at what ‘touch’ means in virtual contexts, such as VR and mid-air haptics, which raises questions around what touch is in this space, the opportunities or limitations for ‘touch’ communication, what is gained and lost; the role of materiality in user experiences with virtual touch; relationships between visual and tactile, audio and tactile, and touch and gesture, and the implications for future design.

Short Bio

Sara is a Professor of Digital Learning at UCL’s Knowledge Lab, London, with a background in Psychology, and extensive experience in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), with a particular interest in embodied cognition and sensory forms of interaction. She has been PI on several interdisciplinary projects, and is currently PI on Move2Learn (Wellcome Trust/ESRC/NSF); PI on WeDRAW (EU); and Co-I on In-Touch (EU ERC). She has published widely in international journals and conferences, is Editor for British Journal of Educational Technology, and has taken lead editorial roles for The SAGE Handbook of Digital Technology Research (2013); Digital Bodies: Creativity and Technology in the Arts and Humanities,Palgrave MacMillan (2016); Qualitative Research Special Issue on Multimodality: Methodological Explorations (2019).

About the SCHI Lab

The SCHI Lab research lies in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), an area in which research on multisensory experiences makes a difference on how we design and interact with technology in the future. The interdisciplinary team explores tactile, gustatory, and olfactory experiences as novel interaction modalities.


Sussex Computer Human Interaction Lab

Creative Technology Research Group

School of Engineering and Informatics

University of Sussex Chichester, 1

BN1 9QJ Brighton, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1273 877837

Mail: m.obrist [at]

University of Sussex


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