Current and former projects

1. Programmable Scent Environments (PROSCENTS)

2. Emotions in Digital Media (EMODIM)

3. Scent laboratory development

4. Mimetic Interfaces (MIMEFACE) 2014 – 2020

Mimetic interfaces refer to a new type of user interface technology in which computing and technical solutions are built to measure and imitate (mime) human behavioural functions so that lost functions can be restored digitally. The specific aim of the current project is to study and develop user interface technology especially targeted at improving and rehabilitation of face functionality (i.e. facial mimics) after unilateral facial paresis.Ultimately we envision technology that measures electric activity of facial muscles from the intact side of the face and routes this measured signal via small scale computing device to the affected side to stimulate the dysfunctional muscles. This represents a new type of user interface technology where an individual will be able to use his or her own bodily behavior to simultaneously control the behavior of other parts of the body. This means basically that a computer will be developed to act as a driver of human behavior. The project will be implemented by a multidisciplinary consortium involving expertise from computer science (especially man-machine interaction), psychology and psychophysiology of facial behavior, engineering, and medicine (specialists in clinical treatment of facial paresis).

Professor Veikko Surakka, School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere is the main responsible director of the project, and he and his research team ( are responsible for the experimental research in the project.

Professor Jukka Lekkala from the Department of Automation Science and Engineering at the Tampere University of Technology ( oversees technology development and the testing of the prototypes.

Professor Markus Rautiainen from the School of Medicine ( at the University of Tampere heads the clinical research in the project.

Funding: The Academy of Finland through 2014 – 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Veikko Surakka, Email:, Phone: +358 40 557 3265

5. Digital Scents (DIGITS)

The Digital Scents (DIGITS) research project develops a system prototype which measures scents by an electric nose (eNose) and transforms them into digits. The scents can then be reproduced by using a carefully controlled self-learning scent synthesizer. In the future, synthesised scents can be perceived by people and even other machines around the world with the help of a digital communications network. The research lays the ground for developing systems that are able to transmit olfactory perceptions and experiences in real time everywhere in the world.

The project represents a new kind of human-technology interface and interface development with significant potential effects. Introducing scents in the predominantly audio-visual communications culture will diversify the use of communications networks.

The implementation is based on interdisciplinary research covering chemical sensing, microfluidics, machine learning, psychology, interactive technology, and company collaboration. The work will cover the research, development, integration of sensor and actuator technology, and human testing of the system.

The Academy of Finland is funding the project as a part of the fourth theme, Advanced microsystems: from smart components to cyber-physical systems, in its research development and innovation programme ICT 2023.

Professor Veikko Surakka from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tampere is the responsible director of the project. He and his research group will also carry out the experimental research on the perception of the scents produced.

Professor Jukka Lekkala from the Department of Automation Science and Engineering at Tampere University of Technology is in charge of developing the technologies needed in scent analysis.

Professor Pasi Kallio and his research team at the Department of Automation Science and Engineering at Tampere University of Technology develops the self-learning scent synthesiser technologies.

The international cooperation partner in the research is Professor Kalle Levon (New York University, School of Engineering) and his research group. The Finnish companies involved include Environics Ltd. and Kenzen Ltd.

The total budget of the project is about EUR 1,3 million of which the Academy of Finland will fund EUR 900,000. The project started in January 2016 and it will take two years.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Veikko Surakka, Email:, Phone: +358 40 557 3265


A selection of past projects

6. DiagNOSE – from extrasensory olfactory cues to status of wel lbeing 2013-2015

DiagNOSE is a joint research project between two research groups from University of Tampere (ESC and School of Medicine), Tampere University of Technology, and three industrial partners (Environics, Bionavis, and Jolla).

The project aims to develop artificial nose technology that can analyze chemical compounds related to cancer and the functioning of human emotion systems. The focus of ESC group is to study is it possible to detect human emotional processes by artificial nose technology. It has been found that chemosensory signals exuded during emotional reactions can affect other people’s behavior and psychological state but no one has so far analyzed emotions by artificial nose.

Funding: Tekes, through 2013 – 2015.

7. Make My Day – Emotional pathway in business development 2013-2015

The project aims to create methods and operations models on how to connect customers’ emotions with strategic business planning. The main focus is to create and study customers’ emotional pathway alongside the customer journey. Emotional pathway refers to the emotions that arise during different encounters of customer journey. Emotional pathway is studied by combining qualitative methods with psychophysiological experimental research. The achieved results will be concretized for companies so that they can use them in business development.

Make My Day is a joint project with ESC and CIRCMI and it is funded by Tekes. Industrial partners of the project are Nokian Tyres, Särkänniemi Adventure Park, insurance company Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö Turva, and veterinary clinic Kuninkaantien eläinklinikka.

Funding: Tekes

7. Subcontracted research

Starting from 2008 ESC group has collaborated and co-created technological research with Nokia Research Center, currently Nokia Technologies/Labs in a subcontracted fashion. This work continued through 2015 with Nokia Technologies.

See example

8. Projects in developing teaching 2007 – 2016

Starting from 2007 we have developed decisively joint teaching and research collaboration between Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction, University of Tampere (UTA) and Human Centered Technology Unit, Technical University of Tampere (TUT). In the lead of Prof. Surakka several grants have been succesfully applied for the work that has resulted into an official joint curriculum “Master’s Degree Programme in Human-Technology Interaction” between the universities.

More information from

Funding: The University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, and The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries.

1. Global Face Analysis in Social-Emotional Human-Technology Interaction (GoFASE) 2009-2012

The project aims at developing and expanding research knowledge on new ways of utilizing automatic face analysis in social-emotional human-technology interaction (HTI) and building new support for vision-based user interfaces. The main objective of the project is to design and implement a new type of user interface that incorporates different machine vision techniques for the purpose of analyzing global facial information received from the user. Global facial information combines all detectable visual cues from the user’s face and head as, for example, facial expressions, eye movements, gaze direction, head movement, and head orientation. The applicability and usability of the developed interface will be validated by performing pilots in the target application areas which are technology-mediated social-emotional communications, networking, simulations, and gaming.

The research in the project is carried out by the consortium called “Machine Vision Interaction Consortium (MAVIC)”. The consortium consists of Finnish and Russian research teams. Finnish team includes researchers from ESC and MMIG groups. Russian team is located at the Laboratory of Neuroinformatics of Sensory and Motor Systems (NISMS), A.B. Kogan Research Institute for Neurocybernetics, Southern Federal University, Russian Federation. GoFASE project is funded jointly by the Academy of Finland and Russian Foundation for Humanities.

Funding: The Academy of Finland.

2. Face Interface 2007-2010

In the Face Interface project we aim to develop wireless, non-invasive technologies for measuring gaze direction and facial activity in different human-computer interaction tasks, for example, typing and Web browsing. The project started in January 2007 and it is funded by the Academy of Finland.

The developed new type of a user interface utilizes electric and video-based signals of facial muscles and eyes, and novel light weight wireless electrode technology. The system enables new type of studies on human-computer interaction utilizing facial activity normally used for communicating facial expressions and emotions in human-human interaction.

Face Interface is a project of the Wireless User Interfaces consortium. Wireless User Interfaces is a multi-disciplinary research consortium based in Tampere, Finland. The consortium consists of four research groups from the University of Tampere and the Tampere University of Technology. Our agenda is to develop wireless, wearable, and non-invasive technology for measuring human behaviour, especially physiological signals.

An early example of Face Interface.

Funding: The Academy of Finland.

3. HapticAuto 2011-2013

In the HapticAuto project we will carry out basic research on multimodal interaction and apply the results in a new domain, automotive systems. New haptic actuator solutions and haptic feedback technologies will also be studied in collaboration with a research group from Stanford University and related industrial partners.

Funding: Tekes.

4. Mobile haptics 2006-2009

Mobile Haptics is a joint research project between University of Tampere, Finland and Stanford University, USA. The project is focused on the research of haptic feedback in unimodal and multimodal user interfaces. The research is mainly empirical basic research, where novel device and software prototypes from constructive research are studied. This is supported by user-centered research where the empirical research results are applied in implementing user interfaces for special user groups. This research is also strategic and groundbreaking by its nature, as these interfaces have not previously been developed and tested so thoroughly. Our aim is to maintain active and continuous research collaboration between the universities and companies in the consortium.

Funding: Tekes.