EAVI, DePIC and the HapticWave at the VIML Conference

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We joined with our Queen Mary DePIC colleagues to attend the Visually Impaired Musicians’ Lives Conference at University College London yesterday.

This was a great two day conference organised by Dr David Baker, Prof Lucy Green, Robert Mitchell (and many more behind the scenes) that brought together a truly international group of musicians and producers with visually impairments, along with people like ourselves who’s research was related to the practice. It was one of the liveliest and most engaging conferences I’ve attended in a while, with a brilliant atmosphere and a whole host of varied, engaging speakers. The website for the conference and related research project is here: http://vimusicians.ioe.ac.uk/

Oussama Metlata from Queen Mary presented a great paper on the DePIC project, and during the lunch break we were able to demonstrate some of the tools that are we are producing, such as the AccesiblePeakMeter (which Fiore Martin has been working on, available here http://depic.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/?q=apmfeedback) and, of course, the HapticWave.

Joey Stuckey and Chi Kim both had a play with the HapticWave and were both very enthusiastic about it. Joey (http://www.joeystuckey.com/) is a professor at Mercer University, runs his own production studios and is an award winning country guitarist. He ended the conference with a great talk before launching into a glorious rendition of “Georgia On My Mind”. He loved the HapticWave, and spent some time trying to figure out how to distract me so he could steal it. He is eager to get hold of a HapticWave to use in his production studios. 20150311_131438

He dedicated his new song to be the official conference theme: here’s the video

 

Chi Kim (https://www.berklee.edu/people/chi-gook-kim) was the keynote, and is based in the Berklee school of music, where it sounds like he is involved in some assistive technology work not unlike our own. He was eager to trial a HapticWave or even build one at Berklee, and Chi and I were filmed by a Korean camera crew using the HapticWave.

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The whole day was engaging and inspiring, and it was fantastic to get some feedback on the HapticWave: on the whole, people’s reaction is “when can I get one?” We need to get this in people’s studios!

Thanks to the conference organisers for a great day.