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In preparing to write this editorial, I took a look back at some earlier ones. I was struck by a 2009 editorial in which I used the metaphor of a young child. IEEE Transactions on Haptics ( ToH) was, in my estimation, a toddler at the time. Apparently, the mapping from “ToH years” to “people years” is rather nonlinear! I say that because 2012 marks the journal’s fifth anniversary, and from all appearances, ToH is pretty grown up. There is a lot of evidence of maturity. For instance, our journal is now indexed by Thomson-Reuters. With this issue, the page count is 100 up from 64 at the outset. And last fall, those remaining Associate Editors who were part of the “original” group completed the second of their two-year terms. I would like to recognize these individuals, all of whom contributed significantly to the formation of the journal: Federico Barbagli, Cagatay Basdogan, Matthias Harders, Vincent Hayward, Hiroyuki Kajimoto, Astrid Kappers, Karon Maclean, and Hong Tan. As they left the editorial board, we were fortunate to welcome a number of new editors: Richard Adams, Gabriel Baud-Bovy, Wouter M. Bergmann Tiest, Knut Drewing, Sandra Hirche, Allison M. Okamura (second tour of duty!), and William R. Provancher.
Change has also happened at the management level. Overseeing ToH is a Management Committee whose members represent the sponsoring IEEE Societies: Computer Society (CS), Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and Consumer Electronics Society (CES). This committee has been an important source of support and guidance from day one, and I am deeply indebted to them. Recent departures include Hiroo Iwata and Jon Rockne, who finished their terms in 2010, as well as Peter Luh, who finished his term at the end of 2011. Peter deserves special mention because he served as the Chair of the Management Committee from the very beginning (indeed, he has been affiliated with the journal longer than I have). Peter is the very epitome of calm, collected and clear-thinking. He has been a wonderful mentor to me and a tireless advocate for ToH. As difficult as it is to see Peter, Hiroo, and Jon depart, it is a pleasure to welcome Dinesh Pai and Grigorie Burdea to the committee, and to offer my appreciation to Reinhard Moeller, who has taken on the Chairmanship.
Reinhard is, in fact, more than just the new Chair of the Management Committee. He is also one of three Guest Editors of the Special Section on Haptics in Consumer Electronics that you will find in this issue. Reinhard, along with fellow editors Seungmoon Choi and Danny Grant, has put together a fascinating section that I’m sure you’ll want to read. Consumer applications of haptics barely existed a half-dozen years ago, but today they are quickly becoming one of the most important commercial applications of haptics technology. This is an exciting development for those who believe in the symbiosis of commerce and science.
Finally, as is our custom in the year’s first issue, it is my pleasure to announce the recipients of the Citations for Meritorious Service. The Citations recognize four individuals whose hard work and dedication exemplify the spirit of volunteerism that makes our journal a success. This year’s recipients are Astrid Kappers for her work as an Associate Editor, and Katherine Kuchenbecker, Vincent Levésque, and Volkan Patolu for their work as reviewers. Congratulations and thank you!
J. Edward Colgate