Tom Chi  

CHI 2004 highlights

May 6th, 2004 by Tom Chi :: see related comic

CHI was awesome. I’ve finally recovered from jet lag, so it’s time to post. KC and I saw many things worth writing about, several of which we will handle in detailed articles later. For now here a quick rundown (in no particular order) of some interesting things I saw there:Jun Rekimoto, director of the Sony Interaction Lab showed quite a few cool things, one was an idea for creating richer, pseudo-structured dialog within a lecture setting via IM. A lecturer has two screen being projected at the front of the classroom. One has the traditional lecture slides, the other has an ongoing public conversation (via chat) by the students. The system can be used to get a sense of what the students don’t understand and also allow them to answer each other questions.

Tim Beamish, a masters student at UBC has built a system which provide haptic feedback to a traditional DJ turntable interface. His system offers several hardware innovations which give it a wealth of possibilities not available to a system like Final Scratch. He is a DJ himself, and had Mixmaster Mike (among others) in his user tests.

Andrew Ko is a PhD candidate at CMU working on software that will help people program more effectively. One of his more interesting innovations is “Whyline Debugging”, wherein a programmer can construct a simple question to ask the system why a particular unexpected state has been reached (e.g. “Why is ClippingPlaneBuffer == 54?”). The debugger then generates a graphical flowchart which displays all the contributing bits which needed to occur and when they occurred for 54 to be reached.

I/O brush is a system which allows a user to pick up “paint” from everyday objects around them. It is being explored by Kimiko Ryokai and Professor Hiroshi Ishii at MIT media lab. By using a brush instead of a hard stylus they were table to encourage users to sample a much wider array of materials.

David Bruemmer from Idaho National Labs demonstrated a robot with great potential for Search and Rescue applications. In conjunction with the excellent CS/EE/mechatronics work, his team is seriously investigating the HCI issues arising from Human-Robot cooperation in life and death situations.

We had a chance to interview Stuart Card about his new book-styled UI research. It is not yet available on the web, but KC and I will do a write-up in short order. Until then here’s the PARC UI research home:

IBM Remail was presented in two talks at the conference. A lot of fascinating work, and one of the few cases where data visualizations are making meaningful strides toward usefulness. On a side note, the interface is starting to look like Ableton Live. Excellent.

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?