1st CfP: Workshop on Affective Touch (WAT) at ACII’15

by Gijs

Just as two years ago we will be organizing a workshop focussing on affective touch (see the website). Compared to the previous edition of the workshop (MeTA’13) we have chosen a wider scope this time, to allow researchers from diverse disciplines to submit their work and ideas. Full call for papers after the break!



Workshop on Affective Touch 2015 (WAT’15)

21 September 2015
Xi’an, China
Workshop website: http://hmi.ewi.utwente.nl/workshops/WAT/


Conference: ACII 2015: The Sixth biannual Humaine Association Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction

21-24 September 2015,
Xi’an, China
Conference website: http://www.acii2015.org



The tactile sense is a rich sense with strong direct (i.e. coding for affective touch by specialized receptors) and indirect (i.e. pleasant tactile experiences) links to affect. Touch is important in social interactions such as hugging, and can elicit strong affective responses depending on who is touching, in which context, to which body part, etc. Furthermore, tactile sensations can be inherently pleasant such as the feel of silk compared to sandpaper.

Considering touch from the view of affective computing poses interesting questions, and offers avenues for research relating to sensing (affective) tactile gestures, and generating tactile sensations using haptic feedback. Think for example of using touch for social communication with virtual agents or social robots, exploring virtual worlds using the tactile sense, using haptic feedback to provide information about ones affective state (e.g through heartbeats), or using tactile and force feedback sensors to infer a user’s affective state during interaction.

In this workshop we discuss the current state of, and the future directions for research into affective touch, highlight good case studies, reflect on the methodological issues, and brainstorm about applications.

Psychology and physiology of touch
– Tactile perception;
– Emotion elicitation through touch;
– Neurophysiological responses to touch;
– Effects of gender, body location, timing, social context, etc.;
– Theories of emotion and (social) touch.

– Design of affective touch devices, and wearables;
– Haptic stimulation and actuators;
– Detection and automatic recognition of affective touch gestures;
– Tactile human-robot interaction.

Applications and context
– Affective touch for entertainment;
– Affective touch in wellbeing;
– Affective touch for presence research and VR.



Submission deadline: June 1st, 2015
Notification of acceptance: July 13th, 2015
Camera-ready version: July 24th, 2015
Workshop date: September 21st, 2015


The workshop solicits original and unpublished papers concerning all aspects related to touch and affect. Papers can describe empirical work, theoretical work, or be design related. Submissions can be send to workshop [dot] affectivetouch [at] gmail [dot] com. If the submission size exceeds 10MB, please make it available for download. Papers should not exceed 6 pages in length in PDF format, and should conform to the IEEE publication guidelines. For templates and examples, see:


The workshop papers will be published in the ACII 2015 proceedings on IEEE explore.



Hatice Gunes – Queen Mary University of London, UK
Carlos Busso – The University of Texas at Dallas, USA


Gijs Huisman – University of Twente, the Netherlands
Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze – University College London, United Kingdom
Dirk Heylen – University of Twente, the Netherlands


Timothy Bickmore – Northeastern University, United States
Augusto Esteves – Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Alberto Gallace – University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Elia Gatti – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Antal Haans – TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Wijnand IJsselsteijn – TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Merel Jung – University of Twente, the Netherlands
Pedro Lopes – Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Germany
Jean-Claude Martin – Paris South University, France
Ana Tajadura-Jiménez – University College London, United Kingdom
Christian Willemse – TNO, the Netherlands
Katrin Wolf – University of Stuttgart, Germany