Posts Tagged 'interaction design'

SideBySide wins top awards at UIST’11.

We presented a paper on SideBySide project at the ACM UIST 2011 conference in Santa-Barbara and it won both Best Paper and Best Demo awards!

The paper can be accessed here.

Talking at CIID, Copenhagen.

I stopped in Copenhagen on my way back to the US and gave a talk at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) on invitation from David Gauthier who is currently a faculty there and Amanda Parkes, who was teaching a summer course there.

CIID was great and very focused interaction design school, I was impressed by students and overall set up there. Students seemed to be impressed by TeslaTouch. And Copenhagen was a lot of  fun.

MotionBeam project.

The MotionBeam project explores interaction with virtual projected characters. It was created in Interaction Group in Disney Research, Pittsburgh.

We instrumented a small handheld projector with motion sensors and developed a range of interaction principles that allow users to control virtual projected characters by gesturing with the projection device. To guide the design of these principles we have drawn from techniques used by artists in 2D animation and comic art, such as shown below. We then developed a number of projection games, such as racing and treasure hunt, that demonstrated feasibility of these techniques.

In the future we see MotionBeam as a key component in the new ‘game projector’ platforms, where the real world becomes a playground and users interact directly with each other and the environment using small yet powerful mobile devices with embedded pico projectors.

MotionBeam was developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Karl Willis, Takaaki Shiratori and myself. A full paper on this project was presented at the ACM CHI 2011 conference. Here you can download both paper and video describing MotionBeam design and applications.

Presenting at CHI 2011 Conference.

We presented several new projects from Interaction Group, Disney Research, Pittsburgh at CHI 2011 conference on May 7-12 in Vancouver, Canada:

  • MotionBeam project explores the use of hand-held projectors as a new gaming platform and proposes a set of interaction design principles that could be used to build effective mobile projector games. A full paper describing Motion Beam project can be downloaded from here.
  • TactileBrush project is a part of broader research direction focused on creating high-resolution tactile displays using low-resolution arrays of tactile actuators. We investigate and exploit a number of tactile illusions to “fill” the space in-between actuators. A full paper can be accessed here.
  • TeslaTouch was presented in demonstration section of the conference, where we showed a design of tactile display for blind based on TeslaTouch.

I will describe each project in more details in later posts.

Talking in Britannica, Moscow.

While visiting Russia I gave a talk in British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow, or simply Britannica. The school was around since 2003, it felt very modern and comparable to many of the international design school that I had visited in Europe and the US.

Talking about my work publicly in Moscow and in Russian was enjoyable yet challenging experience: I have not done for more then 15 years!  Students were smart, motivated and asked a lot of questions, so overall it was a really good experience.

And big thanks to Timofey Tararin for taking these photos.

Showing TeslaTouch at CES 2011.

We just came back from CES 2011 where we demonstrated TeslaTouch project.

We did not have a booth at the main venue, but instead rented a suit in Hard Rock Hotel and run an intense, 3-days, by-appointment-only series of meetings with some of the major companies in mobile electronics and communication business.

Despite our rather informal, under-radar presence at CES, the Orlando Sentinel run an article reporting Disney participation at CES 2011!

The photo below was taken by the reporter of, one of the most popular Chineese technology blogs. They wrote a very nice and amazingly detailed article about TeslaTouch and our CES demonstration.

PAGE features Lumen and Teslatouch.

Page Magazine, a respected design and technology magazine in Germany, ran a great two-spreads article on tangible and haptic interfaces in their January 2011 issue.

The article featured and spoke in great length about my work, in particular Lumen and TeslaTouch projects. Also, one of my favorite tangible interfaces for electronic music performance, Reactable, was featured in the article.

BBC features TeslaTouch.


BBC “Click” is a TV program on technology that is broadcast over 200 countries all over the world. In their recent story they discussed emerging technologies that could aid blind in using touch screens.

“Click” mentioned TeslaTouch as one of the technologies that would make it possible in the future and included a segment of our project video.

12 Pixels is on Sony Ericsson new phone.


Sony Ericsson included 12Pixels as a standard feature of its new mobile phone.

12Pixels is an interface and application that allows creating and sharing sophisticated pixel art drawings using just 12 keys of a mobile phone. We developed it at Sony CSL.

Cedar™ is exactly the type of mobile phone that we had in mind for 12Pixels: an affordable candybar-shaped handset designed to be used anywhere in the world in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Americas. Somehow we keep forgetting that more then 80% of mobile phone users do not use smart phones with touch screens! It is phones like Cedar™ that connect majority of people to each other.

In addition to 12Pixels Cedar™  has impressive specs including web access, 3G modem, nice color screen, camera and Facebook integration.

TeslaTouch tactile texture display.

TeslaTouch is a new tactile interface technology that infuses finger-driven interfaces with physical, tactile feedback. It is based on the electrovibration principle, which can programmatically vary the friction between fingers and a touch panel. As the result, TeslaTouch requires no moving parts, unlike most of the existing tactile feedback technologies, which use vibration motors or some other mechanical devices.

When combined with an interactive graphical display, TeslaTouch enables the design of a wide variety of touch interfaces that allow the user to feel virtual elements and their properties through touch. For example, when dragging a file, the level of friction could convey the file size. Various textures and materials could be explored with fingers. Objects could be felt “snapping” into place or perhaps with a quick “rub” of email application’s icon, you could sense how many emails are unread. Finally, imagine a flat touch keyboard where the virtual keys can be felt.

TeslaTouch was developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Olivier Bau, Ali Israr, Chris Harrison and myself. The industrial design of TeslaTouch handheld prototype was done in collaboration with Mark Baskinger, CMU School of Design.

The web site with more materials on TeslaTouch technology can be found here.


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