A piece of art that knows where you’re looking

The ultra-talented Lindsay MacDonald, student of CMD (computational media design) and a prominent member of the iLab in Calgary, has finally released her Master’s art piece to the masses, which I helped create as a co-artist and co-engineer. It’s titled A Delicate Agreement, in reference to the subtle social interactions that take place in elevators.
Of course, it is best to come and see it yourself (you can visit it at the Taylor Family Digital Library‘s lobby, next to the real elevators), but for those of you who cannot wait until the piece tours somewhere close to you, the video is the second-best option:
You can get more information about the piece by visiting its website.
A view of the elevator in its original location.

The elevator at its current location in the TFDL

Making fun of ourselves

My time at the iLab and as a member of InnoVis is coming to an end. As many of you know already, in May I will be joining the brand new SACHI group, at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland.

As a farewell “gift” to all those colleagues, students, and mentors that have been so good to me in Canada (specially at the Interaction Lab (UofS) and the Interactions Lab (UofC)), I made a spoof video that I hope will make you laugh.

It has been a great time, thank you Canada!

Please, remember that we also do real research :).

The video’s other actor is John Brosz. We got help from Sean Lynch and Lindsay MacDonald.

SICSA Summer School on Multimodal Systems for Digital Tourism

Hi all,

Prof. Aaron Quigley with Eva Hornecker, Jon Oberlander and Stephen Brewster are putting together a SICSA workshop on multi-modal systems for digital tourism. Applications are open now.

What better place to learn, play and build digital tourism apps than St Andrews? Come join us from June 27th to July 1st! Below is the original call for applications:


Applications to attend our SICSA Summer School on Multimodal Systems for Digital Tourism to be held in St Andrews from June 27th – July 1, 2011 are now open. Full details can be found on our Summer School website at sachi.org.uk/mmi-dt. Thanks to everyone in SACHI for helping out with this summer school (and we mean everyone!).

The focus of this summer school is to introduce a new generation of researchers to the latest research advances in multimodal systems, in the context of applications, services and technologies for tourists (Digital Tourism). Where mobile and desktop applications can rely on eyes down interaction, the tourist
aims to keep their eyes up and focussed on the painting, statue, mountain, ski run, castle, loch or other sight before them. In this school we focus on multimodal input and output interfaces, data fusion techniques and hybrid architectures, vision, speech and conversational interfaces, haptic interaction,
mobile, tangible and virtual/augmented multimodal UIs, tools and system infrastructure issues for designing interfaces and their evaluation.

We have structured this summer school as a blend of theory and practice. Mornings are devoted to seminars from our international speakers followed by guided group work sessions or focussed time for project development. We are proving a dedicated lab with development machines for the duration of the school along with access to a MERL Diamondtouch, a Microsoft Surface (v1.0), a range
of mobile devices, arduinos, phidget kits, pico-projectors, Kinects and haptic displays. As we expect participants from a range of backgrounds to attend we will form groups who will, through a guided process, propose a demonstrator they can realise during the summer school which they will demonstrate and showcase on the final day.

In addition, Ben Arent a leading interaction designer based in Dublin has agreed to host (subject to sufficient interest) a day long Arduino workshop for interested participants on Sunday June 26th.

Seminar Topics
– Multimodal Interaction for Digital Tourism
– Multimodal Interaction with the Android platform
– Creating Engaging Visitor Experiences in Museums and Heritage sites
– Multimodal Interaction with spatial data
– Speech-driven, hands-free, eyes-free navigation
– Haptic Tabletop Interaction for Digital Tourism
– Natural language generation for Multimodal Interaction
– Mobility as a challenge for interaction design, Tourism as a special case
– Multimodal Augmented-Reality Interaction for Digital Tourism
– Designing context aware-systems

– Stephen Brewster, University of Glasgow
– Tristan Henderson, University of St Andrews
– Eva Hornecker, University of Strathclyde
– Antonio Krüger, Saarland University
– William Mackaness, University of Edinburgh
– Miguel Nacenta, University of Calgary
– Jon Oberlander, University of Edinburgh
– Antti Oulasvirta, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
– Aaron Quigley, University of St Andrews
– Albrecht Schmidt, University of Stuttgart

The deadline for applications to attend is May 3rd, with notifications
by May 9th. Participation is limited to 30 and we expect a mix of both
national and international participants. The registration fee is £450,
which covers four nights of accommodation (Mon – Fri) in St Andrews,
breakfast, lunch, dinner and summer school materials. Also
included is a welcome reception and farewell dinner. An optional
Arduino workshop (with Sunday night accommodation) is an
additional £70.

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
is providing 16 grants to cover the £450 registration fee for PhD
students from most Scottish Universities. See SICSA website
for details: http://www.sicsa.ac.uk/

See the summer school website for a full programme, biographies
of speakers and full details for applications: http://sachi.org.uk/mmi-dt

The school is directed by Aaron Quigley (University of St Andrews),
Eva Hornecker (University of Strathclyde), Jon Oberlander (University
of Edinburgh) and Stephen Brewster (University of Glasgow).