さきがけ研究員に採択されました。/ Accepted as a JST PRESTO researcher

JST 戦略的創造研究推進事業(さきがけ)  2016年度募集領域「社会と調和した情報基盤技術の構築」にて、『安心感の醸成と孤独感の低減をめざす Emotional Reality 情報技術の確立』と題した研究計画が採択されました。

Emotional Reality(情動的な実感)については、触楽入門でもふれましたが、触感のあるものに触れることを通して得られる納得感のことを表現しています。

触感を通して得られる価値作りをますます進めてゆきたいと思います。

My research proposal has been accepted as a JST Presto program, just started today. This program provides me three years and four months grant for developing information technology that provides affective feeling, in order to perceive more sense of security and less loneliness feelings. 

 

日建設計 「PUBLIC SMILING」展に参加しました。/Participating "PUBLIC SMILING" exhibition

(株)日建設計さまが持つNIKKEN ACTIVITY DESIGN labが主催したパブリックスペースイベント「Public Smiling」に参加しました(9/20-30)。パブリックスペースに展示があることで、さまざまな情動を喚起することができる展示があったならば?というコンセプトのもと、9点が展示されました。

展示詳細のリンク

展示では、慶應大の宮崎さんが中心となって進めているプロジェクト「ASMR articulated」と、さわり心地と知育をテーマにした試みであるcocoikuさんと開発中の「触感ぬいぐるみ」の2つを体験していただきました。

会期中に開かれたトークイベントでは、新しい出会いもあり、新規プロジェクトの予感も感じられました。

展示物の製作には、JSPS科研費研究「身体や情動に訴えかけるセンシュアルな音響質感メディアの研究」(JP16H01665)の助成を受けました。

 

Redeeming my reserach at Hokkaido University

I had been (a sort of) personal sabbatical leave from April to May 2016. It was really great to refresh my mind and crystalize what I truly pursuit in my future academic career. 

Finally I got to Hokkaido University, one of most beautiful research campus in Japan. I plan to work as a facilitator in JST CREST funded reserach project entitled "Foundations of mathematical dermatology based on mathematical modeling" in order to challenge the burden between medical science and applied mathematics. By working with researchers in dermatology and anatomy in medical school and nano biomechanics in engineering department, I will tackle a fundamental question, "how we sense touch in our skin" through analyzing responses in mechanoreceptors in the skin (keratinocytes, sensory afferent terminals and of course Merkel cells). 

My academic prompt jump from Tokyo To Sapporo is gonna be fantastic. I hope this leap will end up large success in my academic goal for elucidating human tactile perception at cellular, neural and cognitive levels.

Full of blossom at the campus in Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Full of blossom at the campus in Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Attending Eyewear Computing in Dagstuhl Seminar

Hi all - I'm now in Germany to attend Dagstuhl Seminar. This seminar series is a prestige conference for selected people to discuss possible direction of specific research field. On the courtesy of Dr. Kai Kunze in Graduate School of Media Design (Keio University), I'm joining this seminar as backgrounds of a Haptics researcher. Since the TECHTILE toolkit works great for haptics experience prototyping, I'm really happy to join this seminar and enjoying this intense but warm atmosphere of top researchers. 

Gathering picture taken on the 2nd day of the seminar. On the COURTESY of Dagstuhl seminar website. 

 

In the second day, I have a short demo of the TECHTILE toolkit and possible applications for mulitimodality in eye-wear computing. 

Demonstrating the techtile toolkit in subgroup workshop. 

You know, it is a little bit tough experience to discuss a topic which I've not worked so much, but it is really creative experience to combine two different expertise to produce one another novel idea. I did the same thing when I was in Columbia University Medical Center, in which I've learned Genetics, Molecular biology and Neuroscience in one of most excellent research environment in the world. At that time I had only a little knowledge in biology (I could do some experiments but not very fluent). However, I've published a paper in good journal and got to know fantastic people in Touch Neuroscience community. It is a pain in the beggining, but after 10,000 hours effort (estimated), you will get to another stage as a researcher. I hope this happens also in eye-wear computing study. Hope my good luck :).

Here is the abstract of the seminar

 

New book on Haptics has been released!

I'm happily announce that my latest book is now out. The name of the book is "Haptics 101" in English. If I would do direct translation, ”Enjoy touching and feeling like listening music" in Japanese.

It takes four years to complete this book project, since it is difficult work to depict tactile feelings and haptic sensation in language. As I stated in my research statement, touch is the least understood modality in five sense so that there are only a few references that can capture what I want to convey in current haptics study. 

This book starts by referencing Linus, a boy and one of main characters in Peanuts, the American cartoon. Linus always has a blue blanket and he is strong when he is holding the blanket. This phenomenon is known as "Safety Blanket" (or known comfort object, see wikipedia) children psychology and familiar phenomenon observers once you have kids. One columbia PhD student had also wrote a dissertation about this topic (If Linus' blanket were Lucy's too: Sex differences in transitional object use, in 1995). Safety blanket is one of compelling example of the importance in haptic sensation for having confidence and better cognitive performance. I like this phenomenon when I try to convince people how important the sense of touch is in daily life.

The book is currently written in Japan but will be translated into English and published by 2017. If you can read Japanese, it is worth reading book, I'm confident (of course, I'm also holding a blanket now!).