CHI 2015

19th May 2015

CHI 2015

In April 2015, Sean Soraghan attended CHI 2015 in Seoul South Korea Here Sean outlines some of his personal highlights from the conference.

CHI 2015

The theme at CHI (Computer Human Interaction) this year was “Crossings”.

“Crossings”: crossing borders, crossing boundaries, crossing disciplines, crossing people and technology, crossing past and future, crossing physical and digital, crossing art and science, crossing you and me.

An appropriate theme, given that this was the first ever CHI to be held in Asia. A large majority of the submissions were from Asian institutions, and there was some very innovative and inspiring research presented. The forward-thinking, tech-savvy city of Seoul, South Korea, made for the perfect setting.

Below are just some highlights from the talks that were observed, out of the hundreds that were on offer.

bioLogic: Natto Cells as Nanoactuators for Shape Changing Interfaces

Lining Yao, Jifei Ou, Chin-Yi Cheng, Helene Steiner, Wen Wang, Guanyun Wang, Hiroshi Ishi

MIT Media Lab

The bioLogic project uses natto bacteria – a bacteria that contracts in response to changes in surrounding humidity levels – in order to augment malleable materials. Bio-hybrid films consisting of malleable materials coated in the natto bacteria provide novel structure-changing materials. An example use-case was a ‘second skin’ suit that responds to areas of high sweating by opening small flaps to cool down the skin.

An Evaluation of Multidimensional Controllers for Sound Design Tasks

Robert Tubb, Simon Dixon

Queen Mary University

Robert Tubb conducted an evaluation of two multidimensional controllers (an X-Y pad and a Leap Motion) in comparison to standard 2- and 3-slider interfaces. The study consisted of users matching a reference tone using the given interfaces. Tubb found that multidimensional controllers provide faster completion rates and the improvement increases with the number of degrees of freedom.

Deformable Interfaces for Performing Music

Giovanni Maria Troiano, Esben W. Pedersen, Kasper Hornbaek

University of Copenhagen

Troiano et al. took a participatory design approach involving amateur and professional musicians in order to define musical use cases for particular deformable interfaces. Results suggested that the participants preferred the novel tangible user interfaces for filtering, modulation and effects, rather than direct triggering of notes. They also highlighted direct use cases for particular form factors, specifically squeezing/pressing for filters; bending for pitch, and twisting for effects.

Lamello: Passive Acoustic Sensing for Tangible Input Components

Valkyrie Savage, Andrew Head, Bjorn Hartmann, Dan B Goldman, Gautham Mysore, Wilmot Li

Adobe / University of California Berkeley

The Lamello project concerns direct 3D printing of embodied interactive components (e.g. buttons, sliders) without any need for learning or complex setup. The method is to use small tines with varying lengths that audibly click at different frequencies. Contact mics are then used to determine the pitch of the clicks and therefore the position of the component.

FugaciousFilm: Exploring Attentive Interaction with Ephemeral Material

Hyosun Kwon, Shashank Jaiswal, Steve Benford, Sue Ann Seah, Peter Bennett, Boriana Koleva, Hogler Schnadelbach

University of Nottingham / University of Bristol

FugaciousFilm is a project exploring interaction with soap film based touch displays. Small frames are used to hold soap films in place, onto which visual displays are projected. The system uses a standard webcam for colour tracking in order to detect the presence or absence of the film. It also uses a leap motion to detect the position of a hand near the film. This allows the system to detect pops (when the user breaks the film), touches and pulls/pushes.

A number of example use cases were shown. In the ‘serendipitous music composer’ example, the frame is divided into a square grid. Each film in each grid is used to control a loop. When the film is popped, the loop stops. The tic tac toe example use a similar frame for a tic tac toe game, where a player loses if they pop a grid while trying to place their marker.

3D Printing Pneumatic Device Controls with Variable Activation Force Capabilities

Marynel Vazquez, Eric Brockmeyer, Ruta Desai, Chris Harrison, Scott E Hudson

Carnegie Mellon University / Disney Research

Vazquez et al. presented the use of pneumatic components in 3D printing in order to provide two-way input/output interaction. Atomic applications included pressing, sliding, turning, which can be combined to create complex interaction systems.

From User-Centered Design to Adoption-Centered Design: A Case Study of an HCI Research Innovation Becoming a Product

Parmit K Chilana, Andrew J Ko, Jacob Wobbrock

University of Waterloo / University of Washington

This talk addressed a specific example of a research project transitioning into industry, and the challenges that accompanied this process. An emphasis was put on a move from user-centered design to adoption-centered design. How can investors and businesses be convinced that this is a worthwhile project? It highlighted the fact that when researchers transition into industry they must carefully answer the question ‘what is the product?’ Questions were posed as to whether this sort of thinking has a place in academic research and teaching.

FlickBoard: Enabling Trackpad Interaction with Automatic Mode Switching on a Capacitive-sensing Keyboard

Ying-Chao Tung, Ta Yang Cheng, Neng-Hao Yu, Chiuan Wang, Mike Y Chen

National Taiwan University / National Chengchi University

This project employed machine learning techniques in order to distinguish typing pose from scrolling pose on a capacitive sensing keyboard that allows for both mouse cursor interaction and keyboard typing interaction. Tung et al. used a process of upscaling, blurring, and kalman filtering in order to enhance the low-resolution data and improve touch (peak) detection.

Acoustruments: Passive, Acoustically-Driven, Interactive Controls for Handheld Devices

Gierad Laput, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E Hudson, Chris Harrison

Carnegie Mellon University / Disney Research

This project looked at the use of acoustically driven control additions to smartphones. They consist of small plastic 3D printed tubes. Ultrasonic sweeps are played through these tubes from the phones speaker to the mic. By incorporating holes, valves, and cavities, inspired by normal acoustic instruments, the sweeps can be filtered and augmented through human control. The resulting signals can be used as control messages for mobile applications.

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