Toby Howard :: Research interests and projects

►  The uncanny valley. Attempts to increase the quality of simulations of human attributes often reach a "creepiness" point. Why? A collaboration with Dr Ellen Poliakoff and Dr Emma Gowen. See E. Poliakoff, N. Beach, R. Best, T.L.J. Howard, and E. Gowen, "Can looking at a hand make your skin crawl? peering into the uncanny valley for hands." Perception, 42(9):998-1000, 2013. [DOI]

►  Virtual Reality as a Rehabilitative Technology for Phantom Limb Experience, investigating using virtual environments for treating phantom limb pain in amputees. Current work is focusing on replacing the cumbersome wired-tracker technology we have used in the past, with wireless body tracking.

►  Augmented Reality, with preliminary work on an interactive display for public engagement.


►  Novel interfaces for interactive drawing using 2D and 3D computer graphics, with PhD student Xin Bao. And some recent work with MSc student Kevin Brydon (using OpenGL):


And with MSc student Alfred Massard (using Java3D):


►  A related long-term interest is the brain-computer interface.

Previous projects

►  Daedalus. Realistically lit interactive virtual environments for architectural design.

►  Virtual environments for psychology research.Telepresence and Telepathy in Immersive Virtual Reality, used immersive virtual environments to test for telepathic effects:

► Augmented Reality Image Synthesis (ARIS). Augmenting photographs with correctly illuminated objects in real time (gallery).

►  Virtual environments for crime scene investigation. We worked with Greater Manchester Police on the REVEAL project, investigating reconstructing crime scenes using virtual environments with accurate global illumination.

►"VR for Large Scale-Applications" (VRLSA) concentrated on the development of industrial applications and resulted in the release of our MAVERIK VR kernel.

Recent Publications

Below are my most recent academic publications (or see my complete publications list). For my non-academic writing, including journalism and book reviewing, please see my writing page.