The Quest for Always-Available Mobile Interaction

Speaker: Desney Tan , Microsoft Research

Date: Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Refreshments: 12:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: 32-G882

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Juho Kim, 6507969759,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: The Quest for Always-Available Mobile Interaction

Abstract: Miniaturizing our computers so we can carry them in our pockets has drastically changed the way we use technology. However, mobile computing is often peripheral to the act of operating in the real world, and the form factor of today’s mobile devices limits their seamless integration into real-world tasks. Interacting with a mobile phone, for example, demands visual, manual, and cognitive focus. I will describe our goal of creating always-available interaction, which allows us to transition between mobile computing and real-world tasks as efficiently as we can shift our visual attention between different visual targets. More specifically, I’ll discuss some of our projects exploring new input techniques that utilize e.g. muscle sensing, bio-acoustic sensing, leveraging the body as an electromagnetic antenna, etc. We assert that success in this space could have the same magnitude of impact that mobile computing had on enabling tasks that were not possible with traditional desktop computers.

Bio: Desney Tan is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, where he manages the Computational User Experiences group in Redmond, Washington, as well as the Human-Computer Interaction group in Beijing, China. He also holds an affiliate faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Desney’s research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile Computing, and Healthcare. These days, he spends large chunks of time applying signal processing and machine learning to recognizing noisy signals, specifically those in or on the human body, and using them in interesting ways. Desney was honored as one of MIT Technology Review's 2007 Young Innovators Under 35 for his work on brain-computer interfaces. He was also named one of SciFi Channel's Young Visionaries at TED 2009, as well as Forbes' Revolutionaries: Radical Thinkers and their World-Changing Ideas for his work on Whole Body Computing. Among other service roles, he has served as Technical Program Chair for CHI 2008 and well as General Chair for CHI 2011. For more info see:

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