Interacting with Small Devices in Big Ways

Speaker: Chris Harrison , Carnegie Mellon University

Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Refreshments: 2:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil/Kiva 32-G449

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Juho Kim, 6507969759,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Interacting with Small Devices in Big Ways

Despite their small size, mobile devices are able to perform tasks of creation, information and communication with unprecedented ease. However, diminutive screens and buttons mar the user experience, and otherwise prevent us from realizing the full potential of computing on the go. For example, there is large disparity between multitouch input and the capabilities of our hands and fingers. In addition to translating to an X/Y position, our fingers can vary their angle of attack, bend, twist, and apply different pressure and shear forces (at least six additional analog dimensions). Fingers also have many “modes” – they do not just poke, as contemporary touchscreen interaction would suggest, but also scratch, flick, knock, rub, and grasp, to name a few. I will describe several technologies I have worked on that enrich and expand today's interaction. I will also highlight an emergent shift in computing: from mobile devices we carry to using the human body itself as an mobile interactive platform, bringing computational power ever closer to users. This evolution brings significant new challenges in sensing and interaction design: the human body is not only incredibly irregular and dynamic, but also comes in more than six billion different models. However, along with these challenges also come exciting new opportunities for more powerful, intuitive and intimate computing experiences.

Chris Harrison is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He broadly investigates novel sensing technologies and interaction techniques, especially those that empower people to interact with “small devices in big ways.” Harrison was recently named as one of the top 30 scientists under 30 by Forbes and a top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review. During his graduate studies, Harrison has worked at Microsoft Research, IBM Research, AT&T Labs and Disney Research on a variety of topics, from social television to on-body computing.

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series 2012/2013.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:25 AM.