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20th May

Team Eindhoven presents - Physically distanced, socially close? with guest speaker: Wijnand IJsselsteijn

Physically distanced, socially close? Exploring the intimacies of social touch technologies

The sense of touch is the most basic and profound in our lives. It is the first to develop in the womb, and the last to go when we pass away. There are significant physical and social health costs associated with touch deprivation, as many of us have experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown. Touch is an incredibly powerful social instrument: a short touch by another person can elicit strong emotional experiences; from the comforting experience of being touched by one’s spouse, to the experience of anxiety when touched by a stranger. Given its social significance, it is surprising to note that touch has not yet found its way into our standard range of communication technologies. In this Pint of Science talk, Wijnand IJsselsteijn of TU/e will explore the intimacies of social touch technologies: What do we know about social touch? What kinds of social touch technologies are already available? How will it affect relationships and interpersonal experiences? And what will future social touch technologies feel like?

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