Vincent Lévesque

Research Projects

Enhancing Touch Interactions with Programmable Friction

This project investigated the benefits and outcomes of augmenting touchscreen interactions with programmable surface friction. Using a technology developed by Ed Colgate and his team at Northwestern University, we varied the coefficient of friction at the surface of a touchscreen to create haptic effects that enhance the sense of realism, engagement, and enjoyment experienced by users.

Selected Publications:
     CHI’11 (Best Paper Award), HAPTICS'12 (Best Paper Award)

Haptics for Persons with Visual Impairment

My work on laterotactile stimulation brought me to consider the broader needs of visually impaired persons and the ways in which technology - particularly haptic technologies - could improve their quality of life. In an effort to share my findings, I am writing a survey that I hope will serve as a primer for haptics researchers interested in applying their research to visually impaired persons. An early version of the survey was published as a technical report.

Selected Publications:
     PhD Thesis, Technical Report

Tactile Graphics

The main topic of my Ph.D. thesis was the display of refreshable tactile graphics by laterotactile stimulation. I have developed rendering methods that produce tactile patterns with vibration, an undulating texture and small dots.

Selected Publications:
     PhD Thesis, EuroHaptics’10, ASSETS’08, HAPTICS'08, CHI'06

Learn more on
     Tactile Graphics, Haptic Memory Game


This project investigated the feasibility of using laterotactile stimulation for the refreshable display of Braille. As a first step, we implemented a 1D laterotactile display and showed that it could be used to produce a line of Braille dots. We more recently extended this work to the display of complete Braille cells with the STReSS2, our lab's latest 2D laterotactile display.

Selected Publications:
     PhD Thesis, WHC’07 (Best Paper Award), TAP 2005

Learn more on
     TAP 2005, Virtual Braille

Mobile Interaction

I played a supporting role in a project that looked at ways in which laterotactile stimulation can be used in a mobile context. My colleague Jerome Pasquero, in collaboration with Joseph Luk and Karon Maclean of the SPIN lab at the University of British Colombia, integrated a miniature laterotactile display into a PDA-like device and is now looking at how the novel feedback it allows can be used to improve interaction with such devices.

Selected Publications:
     Trans. Multimedia 2007, CHI’06 (Best Paper Award)

Learn more on
     Haptics for Mobile Interactions

Measurement of Skin Deformation

The research topic for my Master's thesis was the measurement of skin strain by tracking of anatomical landmarks of the fingertip. Techniques borrowed from the field of biometry were used to extract fingerprint features from movies of a finger sliding over a transparent surface (with or without simple geometrical features.) Variations in skin strain were measured by observing changes in inter-feature distance over time.

Selected Publications:
     J. R. Soc. Interface 2013, J. R. Soc. Interface 2011, EuroHaptics’03

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