Immersive Insights: Haptic Highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2023 Conference

Image Source: @siggraph on Twitter

Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) recently concluded its highly anticipated 2023 conference. Celebrating its 50 years, the event was held in Los Angeles from August 6-10, 2023. The conference spanned a range of topics–from the latest advancements in computer graphics and animation, to AR and XR, and of course, haptics.

Keynote Speakers

SIGGRAPH 2023 kicked off the conference with keynote presentations from professionals within the computer graphics industry. Dr. Darío Gil from IBM discussed what’s next in Quantum Computing; Author, Lawyer, and Professor Kathryn Kleiman embarked on telling the stories of programming pioneers you may not know existed. There were also sponsored keynote presentations from NVIDIA, Sony, Unity Technologies and Vast, where they showcased their newest technologies and how it impacts creativity and innovation.

Emerging Technologies Program

A highlight of the SIGGRAPH conferences is their Emerging Technologies Program, which aims to showcase the latest innovations in graphics and interactive techniques. Emerging technologies include haptic and tactile interaction technologies, smart sensors, tangible interfaces, and VR, AR and XR innovation.

Some of the haptic technologies featured in this session include action-origami-inspired haptic devices for interacting with virtual materials and objects in VR, a haptic backpack that modifies the user’s perceived jumps, a weight-shifting VR controller that provides vibration, impact, and shape perception, and LiveEdge: a novel method for livestream interaction on smartphones that utilizes an electro-tactile sensation through the edges. 

Haptics at SIGGRAPH 2023

Aside from that, haptics were also present on the show floor. The Tachi Laboratory at The University of Tokyo created an exhibit to showcase a collection of haptics technologies they’d built from 2007 up to 2017. Sony R&D also presented an augmented haptic VR experience by combining two weight-shifting versatile controllers as part of the event’s academic program. There were also poster presentations that featured a study about enhancing mid-air haptics via galvanic vestibular stimulation and a study that proposed Bstick-Mark 2, a handheld virtual reality (VR) haptic controller that controls input from five fingers in real-time. There were also presentations and case studies about Text to Haptics—using generative AI to make tactile picture books accessible to visually impaired people by quickly designing tactile graphics using the img2img function.


The 50th edition of the SIGGRAPH conference offered attendees a glimpse into all the latest developments in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The event showcased how technology and AI impact creativity, bringing us one step closer to a more immersive and interactive augmented reality experience.

For more information about the event, check out their website here.