Connecting Minds, Muscles and Bodies: Using Physiological Sensing and Physical Output to Support Communication

Workshop @ ECSCW 2017

Latest Updates! — 30.05.2017

  • The submission deadline is extended to 15.6.2017
  • Our program is updated with an exciting keynote by Prof. m.c. schraefel :  Interoceptive sensing for inbodied interaction or How Do We Feel Today? , read the abstract here.

Physiological sensors such as Electroencephalography (EEG), Electromyography (EMG), heart-rate sensors in addition to on-body sensors, haptic output technologies such as mechanic actuators, Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) among other on-body IO technologies all provide rich opportunities for enhancing interactive systems. The human body as a source of information reveals a myriad of emotional and bodily states which can now be measured using consumer electroencephalographs, muscle activity sensors, among others. On the other side, the human body can be augmented to provide output such as movements or gestures. Current communication technologies often suffer from being impersonal and noncontextual. Using on-body sensors for implicit or explicit sensing and physical output modalities (e.g. EMS) to transfer information, sense context, emotions, and mental state opens up the possibility of using physiological sensing to enhance technologies connecting people. In this workshop we will explore, ideate and prototype the opportunities provided by physiological sensors such as EEG, EMG and EMS for building seamless, novel and embodied communication systems. We will also discuss current technical and design challenges posed by physiological IO and propose new solutions.

Topics of Interest

The workshop will focus on the following topics, but similar topics will be welcomed for submission and discussion during the workshop:

  • Novel methods for cooperation and connecting people using on-body input and output
  • Extending existing communication / collaboration technologies using physiological input and output
  • Mutli-user physiological sensing input and haptic output applications
  • Applications for using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), other on-body haptic feedback technologies, and Electromyography (EMG) for input and output
  • Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) for HCI applications outside the lab
  • Combinations of BCI and physiological sensors, and Virtual/Augmented Reality
  • Extension of Virtual/Augmented Reality with on-body haptic output technologies
  • Developing ecosystems for interactive physiological computing
  • Immersive haptic feedback applications
  • Ethical Implications of physiological input and output technologies in social settings
  • Models, Theories, and Concepts for designing and evaluating physiological sensing input and output applications


  1. Nataliya Kos’myna, Franck Tarpin-Bernard, and Bertrand Rivet. 2014. Bidirectional feedback in motor imagery BCIs: learn to control a drone within 5 minutes. In CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 479-482. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2559206.2574820
  2. Hassib, M., Pfeiffer, M., Schneegass, S., Alt, F., and Rohs, M. Emotion Actuator: Embodied Emotional Feedback through Electroencephalography and Electrical Muscle Stimulation. Proceedings of the ACM CHI’17 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (2017).
  3. Pfeiffer, M., Duente, T., and Rohs, M. Let Your Body Move: A Prototyping Toolkit for Wearable Force Feedback with Electrical Muscle Stimulation. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, ACM (2016), 418–427.
  4. Pfeiffer, M. and Rohs, M. Haptic Feedback for Wearables and Textiles based on Electrical Muscle Stimulation. In Handbook of Smart Textiles and Textile Electronics. Springer HCI Series.

You will find further work about the topics here.