2nd Dutch Meeting on the Study of Affective Touch

The 3TU research centre Humans & Technology (H&T) brings together the humanities and technical sciences. Its goal is excellent research on innovative forms of human-technology interaction for smart social systems and spaces.
4TU Delft
4TU Eindhoven
4TU Twente
4TU Wageningen

On January 20, 2016 we organized the second Dutch meeting on the study of affective touch, or Dutch Touch, for short. The aim of the meeting was to discuss some central topics related to the study of affective touch, and to get a notion of what each of the participants thought would be central themes for future research. Additionally, some interesting demos of haptic devices and applications were shown at the event.

About 20 people, from both academia and industry, put their heads together in four discussion rounds, talking about definitions, contextual factors important in research, applications of touch research, and possibilities for future collaboration. The discussions yielded many interesting insights regarding the topic, or as Dirk Heylen put it “I think it is a great use of collective intelligence. I don’t think anyone here had all the knowledge that we have shared with each other today”. A good example was the discussions around one of the more basic topics, namely the definition of the term ‘affective touch’. Should affective touch just be regarded as hedonically pleasant touch? How can it be distinguished from other forms of touch, such as touch used in social interactions? How important is the intent and message of a social touch? And what role does technology play in affective touch?

It was refreshing to hear different perspectives on these question from a variety of disciplines. We hope that through sharing knowledge on these central issues we can move forward towards a more mature field of research. With this in mind, we hope for the same level of enthusiasm from participants in future editions of the Dutch Touch meetings!

2nd Dutch Meeting on the Study of Affective Touch

On January 20, 2016 we organized the second Dutch meeting on the study of affective touch, or Dutch Touch, for short. The aim of the meeting was to discuss some central topics related to the study of affective touch, and to get a notion of what each of the participants thought would be central themes for future research. Additionally, some interesting demos of haptic devices and applications were shown at the event.

About 20 people, from both academia and industry, put their heads together in four discussion rounds, talking about definitions, contextual factors important in research, applications of touch research, and possibilities for future collaboration. The discussions yielded many interesting insights regarding the topic, or as Dirk Heylen put it “I think it is a great use of collective intelligence. I don’t think anyone here had all the knowledge that we have shared with each other today”. A good example was the discussions around one of the more basic topics, namely the definition of the term ‘affective touch’. Should affective touch just be regarded as hedonically pleasant touch? How can it be distinguished from other forms of touch, such as touch used in social interactions? How important is the intent and message of a social touch? And what role does technology play in affective touch?

It was refreshing to hear different perspectives on these question from a variety of disciplines. We hope that through sharing knowledge on these central issues we can move forward towards a more mature field of research. With this in mind, we hope for the same level of enthusiasm from participants in future editions of the Dutch Touch meetings!