Saturday, October 12, 2013

UIST 2013 highlights

(names are presenter or first author; of course they're all "et al". well, almost all. google scholar the paper titles to get links.)

PneUI: Pneumatically Actuated Soft Composite Materials for Shape Changing Interfaces, Lining Yao
- exploring what you can do with air-filled interfaces.
- examples: a soft material with a bubble on the back curls up as the bubble is filled, or a tower expands and contracts as air is added/removed.
- cool thing: you could have a soft phone that just morphs into a wristband.

Controlling Widgets with One Power-up Button, Daniel Spelmezan
- prox sensor + pressure sensor makes one physical button you can do six gestures with.
- it's a lot easier to put one button than a bunch of buttons on many small devices.

Haptic Feedback Design for a Virtual Button, Sunjun Kim
- a soft button that feels like a clicky mechanical keyboard button. this is aesthetically pleasing.

Transmogrification: Causal Manipulation of Visualizations, John Brosz
- select a section of a graphic, morph it into another shape (e.g. square -> trapezoid, or even square -> circle)
- snapping to paths, so you can e.g. straighten out rivers on a map
- cool thing: you can make a chain of interactive infographics that all depend on the previous one.

Visualizing Web Browsing History with Barcode Chart, Ningxia Zhang (poster)
- looking at browsing to see how often you switch, maybe.

StickEar: Making Everyday Objects Respond to Sound, Kian Peen Yeo
- little sticky gadgets that each sense sounds and can be configured to do things

uTrack: 3D Input Using Two Magnetic Sensors, Ke-Yu Chen
- you wear two magnetometers on your ring finger and one magnet on your thumb, and then you can do free-space 3D gestures. Neat!

FingerPad: Private and Subtle Interaction Using Fingertips, Liwei Chan
- similarly, you wear a sensor grid on your fingernail and a magnet on your thumbnail, and now you can draw on your fingertip. The privacy of it is kind of cool.

BitWear: A Platform for Small, Connected, Interactive Devices, Kent Lyons (poster)
- little fingernail-sized buttons with Bluetooth and LEDs that you can configure on the internet.
- I would really like to play with these.

Imaginary Reality Gaming: Ball Games without a Ball, Patrick Baudisch
- you can play basketball without the ball. QR-ish codes on people's heads let an overhead camera know who is where, and a speaker says who has the ball.
- I mean, that's cool in itself.
- even cooler: imagine real world games with power-ups!

inFORM: Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints through Shape and Object Actuation, Sean Follmer, Daniel Leithinger
- tangible table, a lot of little square things that can move up and down.
- you can make really non-"computery" controls like the ball answering machine. Or it can move things around on the table. It looks like it has a personality.

Traxion: A Tactile Interaction Device with Virtual Force Sensation, Jun Rekimoto
- little metal thing with a moving magnet, feels like it's pulling left or right. The demo was a big hit. Pretty weird that it can fool your mind like that.

There were a few cool mixed-initiative things there too. Cobi: A Community-Informed Conference Scheduling Tool, AttribIt: Content Creation with Semantic Attributes, SeeSS: Seeing What I Broke - Visualizing Change Impact of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), A Mixed-Initiative Tool for Designing Level Progressions in Games, A Colorful Approach to Text Processing by Example. I might be making up a theme out of nothing (I guess the part-computer part-human system thing is just all of HCI) but there's something that feels pleasingly interactive out of these.

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