Jeffrey R. Blum

I joined the Shared Reality Lab in 2008 as a Research Assistant, then switched into the the PhD program in the Fall of 2013. I've been focused on mobile computing in industry and academia since 1994. My last project before becoming a PhD student was the Autour application, which gives blind people a sense of points of interest around them while walking down the street. The problem of pushing information into the background where it is useful but not distracting motivates my PhD research project as well.

For my main PhD work, I'm exploring mobile remote implicit communication, or the ability to have a background perception of another person even when they are not in the same room. I've developed a smartphone app called SenseProxy that creates a haptic connection that lets you feel your partner's state, such as their current activity level and the speed at which they are traveling. Coupled with existing knowledge about that person, the transitions between activities convey useful information that is both practical and can enhance the feeling of connectedness between remote people. I am currently running user studies with participants using SenseProxy for multiple weeks. Based on this feedback, the app is being being modified and upgraded for public release to get feedback from a wider population. Some of my recent publications, talks and demonstrations on this and related haptics topics include :

For a full list of papers, patents, projects and industry experience, please see my CV .

Contact info:
Jeffrey R. Blum
PhD Student
Shared Reality Lab
McGill University