Simon Chaput is the founder and CEO of Boréas Technologies Inc., a company developing novel miniature low-power piezoelectric actuator drivers for the haptic market based on its proprietary CapDriveTM technology. CapDriveTM was invented by Mr. Chaput during his Ph.D. at Harvard University. Over the years, Boréas Technologies built an internal team of mechanical engineers to develop novel system integration solutions for piezo actuators. In 2019, Boréas Technologies introduced SmartClik, a buttonless concept phone. In 2021, Boréas released the Boréas Piezo Haptic Engine and NexusTouchTM. Mr. Chaput holds a B.Eng (2011) and an M.A.Sc. (2013) from Université de Sherbrooke.
Gerald has been involved in Mechatronics for Automotive applications since 2003 when he joined Moving Magnet Technologies in Besancon, France and worked as a research & development engineer (Magnetic Position Sensors, BLDC motors, Direct Drive Actuators). Gerald became the head of the magnetic position Sensor team in 2006 and then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2010 to be in charge of the business development and to technically support NA customers.
He received his mechanical engineer’s degree in 2000, He holds a Masters degrees (2000) and a doctorate (2003) in Engineering science in cooperation with the Los Alamos National laboratory (new Mexico) where he spent 9 months in 2002/2003.
Senior Prize Directorat
ANA Avatar XPRIZE, XPRIZE
As Executive Director of the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, David brings nearly two decades of Operations experience with a focus on producing large-scale, international competitions and events. Over the course of his ten plus years at XPRIZE, David has orchestrated an eclectic slate of incentivized prize competitions, with topics ranging from Moon exploration (Google Lunar XPRIZE) to seawater surface oil recovery (Oil Cleanup XPRIZE), which leverage emerging technologies and a crowd-source platform to drive technological breakthroughs and positive social impact.
Chief Creative Director and Co-Founderat
Francesca Rosella is a pioneer in the field of wearable technology. A fashion designer, architect, visionary, and sustainability champion. Francesca co-founded CuteCircuit with Ryan Genz in 2004. CuteCircuit is the world’s first wearable technology fashion brand, pioneering the merging of fashion with technology and creating groundbreaking award-winning interactive fashions that have been featured in exhibitions and publications all over the world including SXSW, CES, WEAR, WIRED NextGen, TEDx, Vogue Digital, and DLD. CuteCircuit's products are part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum at FIT, Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and Cooper Hewitt the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. CuteCircuit’s designs have been honoured by Time Magazine as Best Inventions of the Year, by Fast Company in 3 Innovation by Design categories: Fashion and Beauty, Experimental, and Social Good, and exhibited at the annual meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Most recently Francesca received the UNESCO Netexplo Innovation Award for creating "technology that improves life”, and the AWE XR AUGGIE AWARD 2020 for Biggest Societal Impact for the SoundShirt. Francesca holds a number of patents in the field of wearable technology, such as sensor-enhanced fabric constructions and multimedia wearable telecommunication devices.
Prize Technical Advisorat
Prior to joining XPRIZE, Jacquelyn Morie spent 13 years as a Sr. Research Scientist at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), which she helped found. While there, she created novel VR telehealth and educational activities using her deep understanding of art, computer animation and human behavior to enhance engagement with these programs. As Founder and Chief Scientist of her company, All These Worlds, LLC, Morie continued this work for private and government clients, including NASA’s Behavioral Health & Performance Research group, for whom she developed the ANSIBLE Project, which studied how to mitigate psychological issues that might imperil future long duration space travelers. She served as a member of the DARPA Information, Science And Technology think tank from 2011 through 2015, and lectures extensively on how technology will affect our future selves and humanity. Dr. Morie is also an ACM Distinguished speaker, and holds masters’ degrees in both Fine Art and Computer Science. She also holds a doctorate in immersive technologies from the prestigious SmartLab Program through the University of East London.
Director of Product Developmentat
Dean Chang heads the product management team at Sensel working closely with customers and the development team to produce solutions that combine touch, force and haptics into solutions that provide new user experiences in the latest laptops. He led the expansion of Sensel technology into a wide range of markets including automotive, industrial, and medical devices. Dean spent his entire career in product management and marketing covering roles for a wide range of technologies including human interface devices, IoT, wireless, semiconductors and software resulting in a proven track record of defining and launching products from concept to mass production.
SAR Insight & Consulting
Peter Cooney is the founder of SAR Insight & Consulting. Peter has been tracking, analysing and commenting on technology markets for over 15 years. In that time he has headed practices at a number of leading analyst firms, managing teams of analysts across the world.
Peter has covered a diverse range of markets including audio & voice technologies, MEMS sensors, microprocessors, haptics, and wireless connectivity ICs.
Peter has been widely quoted in the press and has serviced a wide range of clients including most of the top 20 largest semiconductor companies and many others, including numerous citations in client press releases as an industry expert.
He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Sheffield, his intial career was as a process engineer, responsible for the CVD process for production of DRAM for a major electronics company.
Co-Founder and CROat
Biography coming soon.
Haptics Industry Forum
Dave Birnbaum is a designer, inventor, and public speaker on the topics of emotional design, embodied communication, and immersive entertainment. He has been creating haptic experiences for over 15 years, in which time he’s been named as an inventor on over 100 patents in the fields of gaming, XR, automotive, mobile devices, and rich interactive media. Dave is a founding member of the Haptics Industry Forum, the leading industry group focused on standardizing and scaling haptic technology. Dave hosts the INIT Podcast, where he interviews leading thinkers and innovators at the intersection of technology and humanity.
Dr. Margot Racat Ph.D.
Professor of Marketingat
IDRAC Business School
Margot Racat holds a PhD in Social Sciences from University of Lyon, France and she is professor of marketing at IDRAC Business School, Lyon. Her research focuses mainly on issues related to sensory influence on information processing in marketing contexts (e.g. mediated environments, customer experience) and management (e.g. entrepreneurial decision making in extreme contexts). She particularly gives interest to computer-mediated interactions and virtual environments for consumption and knowledge transfer. She publishes her work in academics journals and books (Technology, Forecasting and Social Changes, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Palgrave MacMillan, …).
I am a Principal Researcher in the EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team at Microsoft Research.
My research interests include Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), Haptics, interactive projection mapping, and computer vision for human-computer interaction. I’m interested in the way that people will work and live using immersive technologies, and its effects on social behavior, productivity, and using digital non-physical space to level the plane field for people with physical limitations.
I am also the Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Virtual Reality, for the area of Haptics and an Assoc. Editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Application (CG&A).
Prior to joining Microsoft Research I obtained my Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has founded a couple of companies in the area of computer graphics, including a successful drawing and photo editing application (Photon-Paint ) and developing the world first time-of-flight video cameras which was a basis for the HoloLens depth camera.
Senior Director, Industry Relationsat
Biography coming soon
Founder and CEOat
Thomas Logan has spent the past 18 years assisting organizations to create technology solutions that work for people with disabilities. He is the founder and owner of Equal Entry, whose mission is to: “contribute to a more accessible world.” His consulting work has spanned project deliverables for many federal, state, and local government agencies as well as private organizations from startups to Fortune 500s.
He’s the organizer of Accessibility Virtual Reality (A11yVR) and co-organizer of Accessibility New York (A11yNYC). Both are monthly Meetups for people interested in topics related to accessibility and people with disabilities. He’s also involved with various XR organizations including XRSI.org, XR Access, and Virtual Experience Interaction Lab (VEIL). Thomas lives in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Manuel Kuehner
Staff Haptics Engineerat
Toyota Research Institute
Dr. Manuel Kuehner is a Haptics Engineer at Toyota Research Institute (TRI) (Los Altos, California). At TRI, Manuel works on incorporating safety-related haptic feedback in partially automated driving systems to increase safety by enhancing human driving capabilities as a part of Toyota’s Guardian system.
He worked all his professional life - since 2008 - in haptics in the automotive industry with roles in research, pre-development, and series development. Before his current position at TRI in the US, Manuel worked for Audi and Porsche in Germany and Geely (Lotus brand) in China.
His previous roles focused on the technical specification of haptics and related topics for infotainment systems such as classical mechanical control elements (e. g., rotatory switches, push-buttons), touch-based user interfaces (e. g., touchscreens, touchpads, touch sliders, or touch buttons) with and without active haptic feedback (force feedback, mostly actuated with electromagnets), and control elements based on magnetorheological fluids (MRFs) to ensure the so-called “perceived quality” from the end customer point of view within the contractual relationship between the respective OEM and various tier-1 suppliers.
Named inventor or co-inventor of 80+ filed patents in different fields but mainly haptics-related. Audi currently uses several of these patents in mass production vehicles.
Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a Diplom (FH) in Mechatronics
Senior Haptics Research Engineerat
Dr. William Frier is the lead haptics researcher at Ultraleap, responsible for research and academic collaborations. He has been a key investigator in studying the perception of mid-air haptics which led to over 15 publications in HCI and Haptics conferences and journals. William has a pluridisciplinary background that makes him a key person in the development and integration of modular ultrasound mid-air haptic devices, and associated effects, in a wide variety of applications and systems.
Eric is a haptics enthusiast breaking the barriers for haptics to scale.
Eric designed the haptics architecture of Interhaptics, lead a team of engineers and marketing colleagues to the launch of the Haptics Composer: the first multiplatform Haptics Design tool on the market.
He co-founded Go Touch VR exploring skin indentation technologies for haptics applications in VR. Go Touch VR raised 2 m $ to create new technologies for XR.
Eric was the CTO of Hap2u in charge of the software team designing the rendering stack to drive surface haptics technologies at full capabilities. Hap2U raised 6 m $ from Daimler and it is going to revolution mobile haptics as we know it.
He published 20 + scientific papers on haptics and human-machine interactions and deposed 5 patents on haptics technologies and applications.
CEO and Founderat
Nanoport Technology Inc.
Tim Szeto is CEO and founder of Nanoport Technology, an R&D Lab developing future technologies for major players in the mobile industry. Tim is a multiple patent holder and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee. At the age of 15 Tim started his first business, an interactive software agency and in 2009, launched NanodotsⓇ Magnetic Constructors, an award-winning consumer product sold in over 40 countries. Today, Tim combines his knowledge in software engineering and magnetics serving as the CEO of Nanoport.
Professor of Engineeringat
Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002. He then spent thirteen years on the faculty at University of Illinois, most recently as the Swanlund Chair Professor and Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. In the Fall of 2016, he joined Northwestern University as the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, with affiliate appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry, where he is also Director of the recently endowed Institute for Bioelectronics. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Elisa is one of the founding members of GREWUS GmbH (2007). GREWUS develops and produces innovative acoustic components and haptic actuators for all industries and applications. Since 2017, she is not only Managing Director but also responsible for Automotive Haptic Key Accounts. Together with her team, Elisa supports customers in the integration of active haptics. She not only understands the market requirements on a commercial but also on a technical basis. She has been working in the international automotive industry for over 18 years. Furthermore, she was recently elected Automotive Chair of the Haptic Industry Forum.
CEO and Co-Founderat
Daniel Büttner is co-founder and CEO of Lofelt. Trained as a professional bass player before moving into music and audio tech, Daniel understood how resonance and vibration are key to creating rich, natural experiences. Lofelt was founded in 2014 and builds state-of-the-art technologies for content creators and device brands that unlock the power of haptics in digital devices.
Philippe Guillotel is Distinguished Scientist at InterDigital Research & Innovation. His research interests include UX/user experiences (immersive experiences and user sensing), human perception technologies (vision and haptics), video compression (2D and 3D) and artificial intelligence (inc. robotics and machine/deep learning) for entertainment. He published 15 + scientific papers on haptics and human-machine interactions and deposed 20 + patents on haptics technologies. He currently leads a team of experts in the field of the digital human and how to make those virtual characters, or avatars, socially interacting with the users in a realistic way (including multi-modal interfaces). He holds a Ph.D. in signal processing and telecommunication from the University of Rennes.
Alex Russomanno is Co-Founder and CEO of NewHaptics, a company dedicated to increasing the literacy and independence of blind people around the world by delivering a first-of-its-kind tactile tablet device for the blind that enables true digital access to information. As a mechanical engineering PhD student at University of Michigan (UM), Alex led the development of the novel tactile display technology based on microfluidics. After graduating from UM in 2017, he co-founded NewHaptics with two UM faculty members, Drs. Sile O’Modhrain and Brent Gillespie, and he has since been leading a team in the development and commercialization of a novel tablet display product for the blind.
Kevin Klein is VP Marketing at Tanvas, a haptics innovation company. Prior to Tanvas, Kevin held senior positions in the semiconductor industry, driving marketing, product management, IP licensing and strategy, M&A activity, and financial analysis of R&D investments. Kevin holds an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. Physics from Texas A&M University.
Technical Program Managerat
Ford Motor Company
Product Manager at Ford for the last 5 years working on various Products in the Infotainment space including Personalization, Settings, Web Engine, and Remote Vehicle Setup. Twenty years experience in Software Engineering, Management and Delivery in various companies including BlackBerrry, Deloitte, and Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Masters in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, Masters in Computer Science from Syracuse University and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.
Co-Founder and CPOat
Jack Hooper is Co-Founder and CPO of Empathic Technologies, leading development of products that intervene in the feedback loop between your body and brain to enhance and balance your experience and life. He has over a decade of experience building products and creating new technologies, ranging from robotics to wearables to software. He is a graduate of the double MSc/MA Innovation Design Engineering programme at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, an 1851 Commission Scholar and Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow, named inventor on several patents and published researcher.
Dr. Marc Scholz
Product Manager, Camera AF & OIS and Hapticsat
Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd
Biography coming soon
Software Engineering Managerat
Tencent Music Entertainment Group
Daniel Belquer is the chief technologist and co-founder of Music:Not Impossible and Vyblife, subsidiaries of Not Impossible Labs. He is an intermedia artist, music composer, programmer, inventor and technologist that focuses on technological innovation through a humanistic lens. Daniel has always been fascinated by music, art, electronics, programming and science. A self-taught technologist, he initially approached software development and hardware prototyping as a way to spur enhanced creativity in artistic endeavors.
From Brazil, he moved to the US in 2014. He's presented shows, given workshops and talks in the US and abroad. His performances, installations and collaborations have been presented in prestigious Art & Technology galleries.
Daniel has led the development of Not Impossible’s Vibrotextile™ technology (a term he coined) and its varied applications, including Music: Not Impossible (M:NI). A “surround body” experience, the M:NI wearable system provides a nuanced vibrational experience across the body. Inspired by the deaf community, the result evolved into a new artform: The Art of Haptics.
M:NI has won several awards and has been praised by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga, Hans Zimmer, Greta Van Fleet, Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine),Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and more.
Daniel is exploring and developing ways Vibrotextile™ technology can improve people’s lives across a multitude of applications, including health and wellbeing.