Architecting user interfaces for the natural user

Speaker: Daniel Wigdor , University of Toronto

Date: Friday, December 02, 2011

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Refreshments: 12:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil/Kiva Seminar Room (G449)

Event Type:

Room Description:

Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Katrina Panovich, 630-853-8164,

Relevant URL:

Speaker URL: None

Speaker Photo:

Reminders to:,,,

Reminder Subject: TALK: Architecting user interfaces for the natural user

The word "natural" is often used to describe human input to computing systems which utilize novel sensing technologies. Observations of expert performances, such as those seen in Hollywood films, give credence to the notion that, simply by changing input modality, the need for user interfaces will disappear. After 3 years of developing "natural" user interfaces for Microsoft, Daniel came to a simple conclusion: changing the input modality may create an opportunity for a more expressive interface, but this opportunity must be met with an equally expressive user interface.

This talk will describe what led to this conclusion, and what emerged from it: a new set of interaction primitives taken-up by Microsoft for its Surface 2.0, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 touch interfaces, and elements of its Kinect' gestural interfaces. The focus of this talk will be the research contributions (described in several published papers and patent applications), but will also touch on the opportunities for research to impact the emerging world of fundamentally new user interfaces which enable exciting new input technologies.

Daniel Wigdor is an assistant professor of computer science and co-director of the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto, and is also an affiliate of the School of Applied Science and Engineering at Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at U of T in 2011, Daniel was a researcher at Microsoft Research, the user experience architect of the Microsoft Surface, and a company-wide expert in Natural User Interfaces. Simultaneously, he served as an affiliate assistant professor in both the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and the Information School at the University of Washington. Prior to 2008, he was a fellow at the Initiative in Innovative Computing at Harvard University, and conducted research as part of the DiamondSpace project at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs. He is also the co-founder of Iota Wireless, a startup dedicated to the commercialization of his research in mobile-phone gestural interaction.

Daniel is the co-author of Brave NUI World | Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture, the first practical book for the design of touch and gesture interfaces. He has also published dozens of other works as invited book chapters and papers in leading international publications and conferences, and is an author of over two dozen patents and pending patent applications. Further information, including publications and videos demonstrating some of his research, can be obtained from

Research Areas:

Impact Areas:

See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series 2011/2012.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:24 AM.