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Issue No.01 - January-March (2009 vol.2)
pp: 1
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Change happens fast with the very young. One day the baby is crawling, the next day she is running about and developing haptic capabilities by pulling books off the shelves. IEEE Transactions on Haptics ( ToH) is a bit like that. The inaugural issue was published only seven months ago. At that time, some 55 papers had been submitted to ToH. As I write this, the number is 120. Moreover, the look of ToH is maturing. One aspect of this is the color images that now grace our cover. Another, more important, is the diversity of papers that we have now published. With this issue, we have published—not counting the preprints and Rapid Posts online—six in human haptics, five in haptic technology, and five in applications. This diversity is as it should be. It is a reflection of the field, and of our journal’s mission: to provide a forum in which advances in haptics can be disseminated to a broad, interdisciplinary community of researchers.
Meanwhile, the impact of haptic interfaces in everyday life is growing rapidly as well. ToH has a role to play here, too. In the third quarter, look for a special issue on Ambient Haptic Systems, guest edited by Kanav Kahol, Vincent Hayward, and Stephen Brewster. Quoting from the call for papers: “ Ambient systems are seamlessly integrated in a user’s environment, providing unobtrusive, yet interactive access to digital media. They can be found increasingly in settings that range from vehicle cockpits, to portable devices, to homes, offices, and hospitals. Haptics as a modality has an important role to play in the evolution of ambient interfaces.” Soon, it seems, haptics will be everywhere!
Although a principal role of ToH is to disseminate new advances (i.e., original research), we also look to publish cross-disciplinary surveys and tutorials. One survey paper has been published to date (“Warm or Cool, Large or Small? The Challenge of Thermal Displays” by Lynette Jones) and I encourage other submissions along these lines.
Finally, with the first year of operations complete, this seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the commitment to service that is so essential for our success. I expected that, as EIC, there would be some long hours and late nights. I haven’t been disappointed. But, in a much more important sense, my load has been light. This is true because of the remarkable way that everyone associated with ToH has contributed. Peter Luh and the management committee have provided not just high-level oversight, but on-the-ground guidance and advice. The staff at the IEEE Computer Society have shared their wealth of experience and know-how. Susan Lederman and Domenico Prattichizzo, the Associate EICs, have joined with me in every key decision, and the entire Editorial Board has worked diligently to ensure timely and thorough peer review. The reviewers impress me most of all. It is too early for ToH to have an impact factor (that requires two full years of publication), but if quality were judged on the average length and thoroughness of a review, I am confident that ToH would already be at the top of its peer group.
I am of the opinion that truly exemplary service work should be recognized and celebrated. In this spirit, the Editorial Board has decided to cite one Associate Editor and three reviewers each year for meritorious service. While the selection process proved difficult with so many strong contributors, I am pleased to announce this year’s awardees: Karon Maclean (Associate Editor), and Seungmoon Choi, Katherine Kuchenbecker, and Karljohan Lundin Palmerius (reviewers). These people gave generously of their time and talent not only to help ToH select the best papers possible, but to help authors write the best papers possible. On behalf of the entire Editorial Board, I want to offer each of them my congratulations, as well as my sincere gratitude for helping ToH establish a tradition of excellence.
J. Edward Colgate

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