Today's interfaces severely constrain our ability to access and interact naturally with digital content. My students and I try to think "out of the box" in designing interfaces that integrate digital content in people’s lives in more fluid and seamless ways. I will highlight some of our recent research in projected augmented reality interfaces as well as our research in tangible display blocks.
Pattie Maes is a professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She directs the Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces research group which focuses on designing novel interfaces for making digital information more seamlessly accessible and better integrated in our physical surroundings. Previously, she founded and ran the Software Agents group which pioneered several technologies which are now ubiquitous on the internet, such as recommendations systems, reputation systems, and software agents. She holds bachelor's and PhD degrees in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Maes received several awards: Newsweek magazine named her one of the "100 Americans to watch for"; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the Cyber-Elite; the World Economic Forum named her a "Global Leader for Tomorrow"; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council. Maes is the editor of three books, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. She is the author of more than 100 articles and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences such as TED.
It is a curious thing that as our digital machines become more powerful, many of us are busy trying make them work as if they were analog. I will talk about how the choice of representations and algorithms has much to do with the fluid, analog nature of interactive surfaces (and other natural user interfaces), and why we find these systems so compelling.
Andy Wilson is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research. There he has been applying sensing technologies to enable new modes of human-computer interaction. His interests include gesture-based interfaces, inertial sensing and display technologies. He helped found the Surface Computing group at Microsoft, and pioneered early efforts to commercialize depth cameras at Microsoft. Before joining Microsoft, Andy obtained his BA at Cornell University, and MS and PhD at the MIT Media Laboratory. He currently manages the Natural Interaction Research group at Microsoft Research. Publications and a few videos of his work are located at http://research.microsoft.com/~awilson.