Jürgen Steimle, professor

Soft interactive surfaces for tangible and wearable user interfaces

Unfortunately, “Soft interactive surfaces for tangible and wearable user interfaces” has been canceled. Stay tuned for an announcement about our September talk.

Hugh Beyer
  • Jürgen Steimle, Professor, Saarland University and Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Informatics
  • Monday, June 19 at 6:30 PM
  • At IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center, 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142

Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.


Central aspects of Mark Weiser’s vision of Ubiquitous Computing have become reality. However, the rigid nature of today’s interactive surfaces is limiting in several ways: it not only restricts the embedding of user interfaces in the physical environment, but also limits mobile use, interaction, and customization. These problems can be addressed through a research focus on future forms of interactive surfaces which are deformable, stretchable, and support multi-modal interactions.

This talk will give an overview of recent work on deformable sensor and output surfaces. Starting from sensors and displays on paper-like surfaces, it will introduce techniques for realizing interactive temporary tattoos. These conform to fine wrinkles and highly curved body locations, and turn the human skin into an input and output surface. Lastly, the talk will present approaches for making 3D printed objects interactive, by embedding conductive structures.

Together, these approaches demonstrate the potential of digital fabrication and printed electronics for realizing sensors and output in new form factors, which are compatible with highly individual geometries and custom user preferences.


Jürgen Steimle is a full professor at Saarland University and a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, both located in Saarbruecken, Germany. In 2012-2014 he was a visiting assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab. He holds a PhD from Darmstadt University of Technology. His current focus areas include flexible display and sensor surfaces, on-body interaction and personal fabrication. His work was recognized with an ERC Starting Grant, best paper awards at ACM CHI and UIST, and the Best Computer Science Dissertation Award 2009 by the German, Austrian and Swiss Computer Societies. He is currently serving as program co-chair for TEI 2017 and as general co-chair for ISS 2017.

Event schedule

6:30 – 7:00 Networking over pizza and beverages
7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking


Thank you to our generous sponsors. Interested in sponsoring BostonCHI? Let us know!

IBM Watson Research is hosting us.

Logo for IBM Research, Cambridge

Vitamin T is sponsoring dessert.

Getting there

The meeting room is on the ground floor, behind the security desk. BostonCHI signs will point the way. Transportation guide here.