15 episodes

There’s a revolution underway – a quiet revolution of the senses.
Technology is shifting from engaging just your eyes and ears to engaging your entire body. Embodied media and next-generation wireless networks, sometimes collectively called the Tactile Internet, will shift the fundamental relationship between humans and the technologies we invent. The transition of cyberspace from being virtual to being a physical place you can visit with all your senses is the biggest deal since... maybe since ever. Let's talk about it!
INIT is a different type of tech podcast. We get geeky, but we keep track of the human story. More than anything, INIT is about people – the people behind the tech, why they do what they do, and their vision of the future. We've all heard the adage, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." INIT brings you conversations with the inventors of our shared future.
Who should listen to INIT?
If you’re a designer, maker, or developer, you'll learn how to make cool new experiences using new embodied technologies and immersive interfaces.
If you’re an artist, you might get inspired to use these new ideas to play with reality.
If you’re a student, you'll learn from others how you can build a career in immersive technology.
If you’re just curious about the future, you'll learn how immersive technology will impact all our lives in the coming decades.
No matter why you’re here, listening to INIT means you’re on the forefront of an emerging digital culture. I’m excited to be on this journey with you – we're all INIT together!

INIT Dave Birnbaum

    • Technology
    • 5.0, 5 Ratings

There’s a revolution underway – a quiet revolution of the senses.
Technology is shifting from engaging just your eyes and ears to engaging your entire body. Embodied media and next-generation wireless networks, sometimes collectively called the Tactile Internet, will shift the fundamental relationship between humans and the technologies we invent. The transition of cyberspace from being virtual to being a physical place you can visit with all your senses is the biggest deal since... maybe since ever. Let's talk about it!
INIT is a different type of tech podcast. We get geeky, but we keep track of the human story. More than anything, INIT is about people – the people behind the tech, why they do what they do, and their vision of the future. We've all heard the adage, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." INIT brings you conversations with the inventors of our shared future.
Who should listen to INIT?
If you’re a designer, maker, or developer, you'll learn how to make cool new experiences using new embodied technologies and immersive interfaces.
If you’re an artist, you might get inspired to use these new ideas to play with reality.
If you’re a student, you'll learn from others how you can build a career in immersive technology.
If you’re just curious about the future, you'll learn how immersive technology will impact all our lives in the coming decades.
No matter why you’re here, listening to INIT means you’re on the forefront of an emerging digital culture. I’m excited to be on this journey with you – we're all INIT together!

    Keeping In Touch in the Digital Age

    Keeping In Touch in the Digital Age

    Carey Jewitt is Professor of Technology and Learning at University College London, UK. As Director of the IN-TOUCH project, her work explores how digital technologies shape communication, design, and the arts.
    Special Guest: Carey Jewitt.
    Support INIT
    Links:
    Communicating by touch: the final frontier? | UCL Institute of Education — "Sometimes we don't even really understand why we're kind of reaching out to touch..." Find out why Professor Carey Jewitt and her team are looking into digital touch technologies and their potential in transforming the ways we communicate.How digital touch can help people connect | UCL Institute of Education — The REMOTE CONTACT exhibition explores how creative uses of technology might enhance feelings of connection between families and relatives in care and tackle isolation. Created by interactive arts studio Invisible Flock and co-designed with individuals and their families living with dementia, the exhibition was commissioned by the IN-TOUCH project based at the IOE's UCL Knowledge Lab.

    Lead by Professor Carey Jewitt, IN-TOUCH seeks to explore how digital touch can redefine our experience of communication with those close and distant, and how this may change communicative norms and ethics. More info at http://bit.ly/2E9AZ08 and follow the project on Twitter @IN_TOUCH_UCL.Imaginations of Remote Personal Touch Communication, Carey Jewitt — How is haptics involved in knowledge creation? What knowledge is produced in reconceptualizing touch through other means? There is a humanist privileging of a certain kind of knowledge gained directly through the hands in craftsmanship, painting, and skillful training. Some see this as partially translating into digital craftsmanship and computer-aided design. The engineering of force feedback (haptics) involves hands, muscles, and skin in active engagement with digital sensation for the purposes of the design of objects and textiles, then, but also for more wholly embodied entertainment and performance experiences. Videogame controllers buzz in our hands, while haptic bodysuits stimulate hands and other body parts for fun or art. Scientific processes of sensory mapping, the engineering of the interface, electrical and electronic entertainments, and the use of the body in performance each in their own way involve a creative approach to knowledge production: creative arrangements of the senses, translations between modalities, a realm of experimentation in the service of knowing more about bodies, senses, and space – what Michel Serres describes as a ‘mingling’ of the senses. Increasingly, social science understands the importance of such sensory knowledge production, and involves its own creative methodologies and approaches when it comes to bodies and their boundaries. The day will consist of talks and demonstrations around touch, haptics, and performance.

    • 39 min
    Sensory History

    Sensory History

    Mark Smith is Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Topics discussed in this episode include historical reenactment, immersive technology applied to historical studies, and the sensory revolution brought about by the global pandemic.


    Read the article on SingularityHub that triggered this interview here.


    You can purchase Professor Smith's book, The Smell of Battle, The Taste of Siege, here.
    Special Guest: Mark Smith.
    Support INIT

    • 51 min
    Design for the Sense of Touch

    Design for the Sense of Touch

    Oliver Schneider is an Assistant Professor, HCI researcher, and haptician at the University of Waterloo. Discussion topics include juicy design, measuring the haptic user experience, standardization, tools, virtual humans, and the impact of the pandemic and tactile internet technology on the future of work.
    Special Guest: Oliver Schneider.
    Support INIT

    • 38 min
    The Art of Haptics

    The Art of Haptics

    Daniel Belquer is an award winning composer and intermedia artist. Discussion topics include the use of haptics in live events and concerts, creative tools for tactile art, the state of wearable devices, therapeutic haptics, and COVID-19 and what it means for the tactile internet.
    Special Guest: Daniel Belquer.
    Support INIT

    • 42 min
    Touchy Subjects

    Touchy Subjects

    Robby Hoffman is an award-winning stand-up comedian and writer. Discussion topics include sex tech, television, haptics in mobile phones, plumbing, VR, and Mars settlement. This episode contains explicit content.


    Robby was named one of Comedy Central's UP NEXT comedians and was listed on Conan O’Brien’s Comics to Watch list. She headlined for the New York Comedy Festival and recorded her first one-hour TV special, "I’m Nervous," at JFL42 in Toronto for Crave TV in 2019. An ex-Chasidic queer Jew, Robby is a fixture at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in her hometown of Montreal, and has written for The Chris Gethard Show (TruTV), Workin' Moms (Netflix), Baroness Von Sketch Show (IFC), and Odd Squad (PBS), for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2019.
    Special Guest: Robby Hoffman.
    Support INIT

    • 47 min
    Tactile Telepresence

    Tactile Telepresence

    Jeremy Fishel is a roboticist and haptician, founder of Tangible Research, and co-founder and former CTO of SynTouch. In this episode, Dave talks with Jeremy about the new device he helped create, the Tactile Telerobot, which lets you manipulate robotic hands and feel what they feel. Other discussion topics include modes of human touch, evolution of tactile senses, biomimicry, the tactile internet, tactile versus visual AI, and the ANA Avatar XPrize.


    Before his recent ventures, Dr. Fishel was recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of the Innovators of the Year in 2013 and accepted as a delegate of the Academy of Achievement under the personal recommendation of General David Petraeus. Under his technical leadership, SynTouch was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Jeremy lives in Chico, California with his wife Emily, and their two children Linda and Teddy.
    Special Guest: Jeremy Fishel.
    Support INIT

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

skrapple ,

Phenomenal podcast

This is my new favorite podcast. Such a great combo of technology and humanity

Top Podcasts In Technology