HCI2009 notes

2009 September 6

HCI 2009 | Cambridge
Sept 1-4 2009, Cambridge, UK

HCI 2009, Cambridge


Physicality 2009 International Workshop

I was very much looking to this event and I enjoyed it a lot. My position paper was titled Sketching and prototyping haptic interfaces: design challenges and insights. The people taking part in the workshop had very interesting projects to show and/or a nice approach to physicality in its broad sense.

The full proceedings of the workshop are available here.

Erik Geelhoed from HP-labs presented interesting work on Halo, a video-conference system that aims to reproduce real-life settings and context for conversation. “It’s all in the details” Mr Geelhoed said. The latency was generally not a big issue (ok up to 2000ms for video).

Jonh Bird presented work on vibrotactile feedback for bowing (on violin) training. Tavs Jorgensen presented a modeling/craft tool using a 3d arm to input form into CAD software. The form/gesture was then extruded and manipulated to produce molds. These molds were then used to produce glass works. The shapes/profiles feel very organic and humane despite the weak input mechanism. A new artistic tool for small runs and craft-like processes.

Mark Evans investigated the use of haptic arm in Industrial Design activities. The study examined the design of a toaster using two approaches (after the aesthetic/sketching part): the first one using traditional tools like tangible model making (shaping foam manually and similar), the second one using a Phantom to model in CAD the design. The study found that some shapes are impossible to create with a 3D haptic arm. The curves always have that ‘trembling aesthetic’, even using physical guides to support the designer’s actions.

Robb Michell from Sønderborg (Denmark) presented his projects of furniture that imposes/limits physical movement or human interaction.

The remaining of the day was spent developing a digital camera without any GUI controls. My group came up with a system to record a baby’s first steps. The camera is automatically recording an unique event independent of the user(s) being present or around. ‘You will never miss that special moment again’. It was a good exercise and we had a blast putting it together quickly.


KEYNOTE Anthony Dunne:
4 types of design: problem solving, commentary, C.P.D (Completely Pointless Design), What if? (what RCA tries to push)
Cones of possibilities/potentialities from Stuart Candy:
Possible, Plausible, Preferable, Probable
a/b design


KEYNOTE Bill Buxton:
Title: Iteraction in the Design of the human-computer interface
Designers don’t invent new stuff, they know their history, watch for clever ideas, appropriate and repurpose them in their own ways.

Magic Cap, a full 3d interface on a mobile devie, from 1994

Simon, a full multi-touch mobile device with one button, from 1993 IBM/Bell South

Design is like mining gold, you have to know where to look for gold if you want to be successful.

The Long Nose graph (ripped from Chris Anderson’s Long Tail)
-any new invention take ~20 years to reach mass market ($1bn market)
-most of it spent under the radar, under ground
-3 phases: invention, refinement & augmentation, productization
examples with 4 watches: multitouch, tangible, gesture recognition in 1984 by Casio
Casio VDB-1000

exactly what Apple and Jonathan Ive are doing (inspired by Braun and other ID classics, ref Objectified). “If it’s good for Jonathan, it’s good for everyone”

Brock Craft: Sketching vs Sketching in Hardware
more closed, you start coding very early (usually)
difficult to go back in time, recall and revisit sketches
less collaborative

more capable for dynamic elements
can sketch non-visual stuff (audio, transitions, etc)

3D interface
Bill Buxton’s comments: evaluation should not be dependent on input or control mechanisms

Debate Dualism:
Alan’s comments: Do we have design is there is no client? Response: Design is more than producing artifacts and answering clients’ problems.

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