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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Rui Huang

Curiosity . Tangibility . Positivity

Rui has ten years of experience leading in-house new product innovation (NPI) through the synergy of design, technology, and business in a global setting.

Motivated by curiosity and the desire to bring a ray of hope into people’s lives, he has taken evolving roles as design lead, design engineer, and strategist across diverse fields and industries to explore and examine the reciprocal relationships between design and technology, and to understand their values, potentials, and impacts on the scale of individuals, society, and the environment.

His most recent research focuses on the future of design innovation in the areas of tangible human-machine interaction and anthropometry-informed design practice for smart wearables.

Show Location: Kensington campus: Darwin Building, Lower ground floor

Tangio Hapmantics™ aims to reimagine the future of digital communication by creating the First Tactile-based Semantic Library with a Tangible User Interface to introduce surrounding haptic stimulations into remote conversations.


We have been through a challenging period that has accelerated the transition to a hyper-digital lifestyle with the adaption to a new norm of remote living, communication, and working. Under such change and with the booming market in the metaverse, our interaction with the external world and one another has shifted from being physical to being more remote and virtual-based. Incorporating a multilayered hyper-grid system with a "virtual" layer that blends into its "physical" presence, the world we live in has developed into a mixed reality that extends beyond its physical existence.


We aren't, though, either psychologically or physically ready for such transformation. Our psychological and physical health have been profoundly influenced by the present virtual-based human-machine-interaction (HMI) model, which heavily disregards tactile senses. Recent studies have found a link between touch deprivation and mental health that is significant, increasing the risk of PTSD, alexithymia, depression, and other mental diseases by up to 40%. It has also been demonstrated that immunological illnesses and personality disorders have a strong positive correlation with affection deprivation brought on by the loss of touch and tactile sensations. Additionally, it goes against the gregarious nature of humans, which depends on sensing and engaging with their physical surroundings in order to gather information, communicate, make emotional bonds, and grow cognitively.


Given the foregoing, my intervention aims to transform the existing virtual HMI model by incorporating a new layer of communication, the tangible interface, to translate information such as gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, emotions, and other stimuli from in-person conversation into the haptic and tangible representations. The goal is to investigate new medium and sensorial stimulus that will suit better in the digital context for affective haptic communication and to transcend the physical boundaries between users in their daily communication.

Reimagine Remote CommunicationThe smart headset with a tangible user interface empowered by the first haptic-based semantic library, Tangio Hapmantics™, to augment remote communication through surround haptic stimulations.

The tangible user interface comprises 3 layers, the base layer is the voice interface where audio content is conveyed. The top layer is the haptic & kinaesthetic layer, empowered by the Tangio Hapmantics™, to provide the surround haptic stimulations.

Advanced Prototyping and Mechanical Structure FinalisationThe outcome of a series of trials evaluating various wearables embodiments on different body locations, and informed by the bodily ergonomic map of touch and motion sensitivity, as well as emotional responses.
350+ Haptic Representations with 45+ Main Sequences TestedOver 350 haptic representations from 50 major sequences were examined in order to map emotions and other stimuli to the "correct" tangible representations in the "appropriate" context. The adventure continues. *Because the dataset is still in development, it will not be released here.
The demonstration of using anthropometry-informed design methodologies and advanced measuring and modeling tools to create ergonomically fit headsets that provide better wearability, functionality, and comfortability.
Reimagine remote conversations for your daily communication
Critical & Historical Studies: Human’s Second Nature: TechnologyExamining the Entanglement and Reciprocal Relations between Human Body and Technology to draw an Ethical Framework for Future Explorative Activities
Tickle ;D Rekindle Tangible Sensation of Human ContactTickle ;D is an experiment to replicate physical human contact through tangible interaction on a device. It recreates the haptic experience of blowing a little puff of air in the ear. It is a breeze for your ear and for you, and imparts a sense of wonder to yourself and your beloved ones, to provide a bit of solace from our hectic, everyday lives.
Cross-Species CoCreation: Bio-interfaces to Bridge Human & NatureGenerative Design & Bio-Design Practice: Digital Fabrication Meets Natural Growth