Key Issues In Sensory Augmentation Research Workshop

University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 26 and 27 March, 2009

This two day interdisciplinary workshop focuses on key issues in sensory augmentation research. Our aim is to bring together researchers from the different fields that investigate how the capabilities of perceptual and cognitive systems can be augmented by sensor-based technologies: HCI; philosophy; computing; AI; psychology; and the arts.

One goal is to identify the key questions motivating the research in this rapidly developing interdisciplinary area. Another is to map the range of theoretical frameworks, empirical techniques and technologies that are currently used in sensory augmentation research.


The workshop will focus on the following three questions:

  1. are there rigorous techniques that can characterise the subjective experience of using sensory augmentation technology?
  2. how can empirical experiments with sensory augmentation devices be used to further philosophical and psychological enquiry into cognition and perception?
  3. what technologies are available for building sensory augmentation devices?

CONFIRMED Keynote Speakers and Demonstrators

Malika Auvray, CNRS, France
Andy Clark, University of Edinburgh, UK
Tom Froese, University of Sussex, UK
Charles Lenay, Perceptual Supplementation Group, Compiègne France
Claire Petitmengin, University of Paris, France
Carson Reynolds, University of Tokyo
Yvonne Rogers, Open University, UK
Adam Spiers, University of Bristol, UK
Jamie Ward, University of Sussex, UK

Workshop Programme

We want to address our three research questions through conventional short presentations by invited keynote speakers, discussion sessions, and by participants having a hands-on experience of using, building and evaluating sensory augmentation technologies.
There will be demonstrations of a range of sensory augmentation devices and participants will have opportunities to use and evaluate these systems under the guidance of the designers.
There will also be two optional tutorial sessions. One tutorial will cover open source software (Processing, OpenFrameworks) and hardware (Arduino microcontrollers, Lillypad components) that can be used to build wearable vibro-tactile arrays and connect them to a range of sensors. This will be run by researchers who actively use these technologies and will demonstrate that sensory augmentation systems can be rapidly prototyped and tested. This session will only require participants to have basic technological skills (some basic familiarity with a programming language).
A second tutorial session will be run by Claire Petitmengin, a leading authority on ‘second person’ interview techniques and an experienced trainer. Participants will interview each other about their experience of using the sensory augmentation devices demonstrated at the workshop.


Places are limited, so if you would like to participate in this workshop please submit a maximum 2 page position paper that addresses one or more of the three workshop questions and send it to Jon Bird: . At the workshop these will be presented as posters.


Position Paper Submission Deadline: Friday 20 February
Notification of acceptance: Friday 27 February

The deadline for submissions is Friday 20 February. We will confirm acceptance by Friday 27 February.


The workshop is free and participants will receive lunch and refreshments on both days and dinner on the first evening. There is also some funding available to contribute towards travel and accommodation costs.


John Bird and Paul Marshall, Pervasive Interaction Lab, Open University.
Tom Froese, University of Sussex.

David Moffat, Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Science, School of Engineering and Computing, Glasgow Caledonian University


This workshop is funded by the UbiComp Grand Challenge.