Our research group, together with researchers at SICS and Stockholm University, has received a generous grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, for a large research project on the topic of “Smart Implicit Interaction”. In total, we received 33 MSEK, which will be shared between the three institutions, over the course of five years. The active researchers from our group will be Kristina Höök and Ylva Fernaeus, together with one new PhD student and postdocs.
About the project: We are at the stage of personal computing before the desktop metaphor, the Internet before hypertext, or mobile computing before touch interfaces. In short, IoT lacks its killer interface paradigm. What is needed is not a new vision of the smart home or the smart city, we need environments that make us smart. In an environment that makes us smart, our activities drive and change the smart objects around us at the same time as they continuously adapt to us – creating for a new interface paradigm we call smart implicit interaction. Implicit interactions stay in the background, thriving on data analysis of speech, movements, and other contextual data, avoiding to unnecessarily disturb us or grab our attention. When we turn to them, depending on context and functionality, they either shift into an explicit interaction – engaging us in a classical interaction dialogue (but in a state based on the analysis of the context at hand) – or they continue to engage us implicitly using entirely different modalities that do not require an explicit dialogue – that is through the ways we move or engage in other tasks. The demonstrator of this project consists of three key building blocks – the interaction toolkit, the smart data layer and a set of design exemplars for the Smart Garden, Smart Body and Smart Street domain. Each of these domains fits with important contemporary consumer and industrial concerns and will help to answer our fundamental interactional research goals.
The open source hardware project WoodenHaptics just had its 20th users-to-be signed up on the project website. WoodenHaptics is a starting kit for crafting spatial haptic devices, which can be used to interact with computer-generated objects through the sense of touch. In an effort to spread this technology and build a community of device designers the blueprints of the device is available for free, and we are gathering interest to see if providing a complete assembly kit would make sense as well. So far 20 users-to-be have shown interest, so this might actually happen. But first Jonas has to finish his thesis!
Our group got two full papers accepted at TEI’16! Both incidentally about interactive carpets:
The first, Alfombra Appliqué, is a remake of a 10 year old system, Patcher, for children’s shared, co-located making on interactive animated play worlds. The focus in the paper is on how available technology, which is shifting over time, shapes design efforts and in turn also the user interactions and experiences. Bergsmark, Moa and Fernaeus, Ylva. From Patchwork to Appliqué: Reflections from an Interaction Design Remake. TEI’16. ACM (forthcoming)
The second, the Soma mat, is an exploration on the use of thermal stimuli in body
awareness exercises. The paper brings forth an alternative understanding of heat
as a design material that extends the common understanding of thermal stimuli in HCI. Jonsson, M., Ståhl, A., Mercurio, J., Naveen, Höök K., The aesthetics of heat: Guiding awareness with thermal stimuli. TEI’16. ACM (forthcoming)