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Lazaridis School of Business & Economics

Waterloo tech firm provides challenge for integrated case exercise

Laurier students to recommend target markets for Handshake’s sense-of-touch technology

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jul 14/05| For Immediate Release


David Rose
Instructor, Marketing
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2307


Dr. Kim Morouney
Director, Undergraduate Business Programs
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2485

WATERLOO – An emerging Waterloo technology company that simulates the sense of touch in human-computer interactions is asking 297 business students at Wilfrid Laurier University for recommendations on which market segments to target.

Handshake VR Inc., which develops software for haptic-enabled (sense-of-touch) tele-operation applications, is the subject of the Laurier school of business and economics’ (SBE) latest integrated case exercise (ICE). All third-year core courses in the bachelor of business administration (BBA) program are cancelled for the next week and a half as 60 teams of four or five students focus all they have learned on analyzing Handshake.

“Laurier’s ICE week is unlike anything else found in a Canadian business school, in that we require our students to tackle a real-world business challenge with the same sort of pressure and time constraints as they would encounter in the work environment,” said David Rose, co-author of the case. “The Handshake case asks our students to apply everything they have learned to a growing, dynamic and fluid industry – the high-tech sector.”

The teams receive the case today and the best analysis will be selected on Friday, July 22. The case asks students to recommend which market segments Handshake should pursue from among a broad spectrum of new telehaptic applications in areas that include robotics, telesurgery, teletraining, telediagnosis, telerehabilitation and edutainment.

The students’ proposals must clearly and concisely outline the specific market applications that will be developed, the model for how these applications would be commercialized, the specific uses of raised capital, the profits and other returns that would be expected, along with the associated timelines.

Each team will submit a written report and present its findings to an internal board of SBE faculty by noon on Tuesday, July 19. The 10 best teams proceed to the finals and their reports are sent to members of two external boards that include Handshake executives Dieter Hensler, president and CEO, Kevin Tuer, founder and chief technology officer, and Tim Ellis, founder and VP operations.

Finalists will make their final presentation to one of the external boards, in room SBE1210 or SBE1240 in the Schelgel Centre for Entrepreneurship, on Friday morning beginning at 9 a.m. The two winning teams will be announced at 1 p.m. in room P1025/27 of the Frank C. Peters Building.

Located in the heart of Canada’s Technology Triangle, Handshake VR Inc. is a software company formed in 2001 to provide researchers and engineers with the tools necessary to rapidly design and develop haptic-enabled applications. In 2003, Handshake demonstrated groundbreaking enabling technology for telehaptic applications with the first transatlantic bilateral handshake and simulated the taking of a pulse between Europe and North America.

The company, named a “Top 25 Up & Comer Technology Company” by the Branham Group, introduced its first product, the Handshake proSENSE™ Virtual Touch Toolbox, in March 2005. The proSENSE Toolbox offers both expert and novice users a wide range of tools to develop sense-of-touch applications, including the proprietary time delay compensation technology (TiDeC™), recognized by industry as the only commercially available technology that addresses fatal network latency. To learn more about Handshake VR Inc. and the proSENSE Toolbox, please visit

With more than 3,600 students enrolled in its programs and 110 full-time faculty members, Laurier’s SBE is one of Canada’s largest and most innovative business schools, with campuses in Waterloo and Toronto. Visit for further information.


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