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.

Read MoreSoft interactive surfaces for tangible and wearable user interfaces

The UX Designer as Innovator

Hugh Beyer
  • Hugh Beyer, UX Product Manager, Cohealo, Inc.
  • Tuesday, May 9 at 6:30 PM
  • At Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

Please register. It helps us and our hosts plan.


The role of UX has always been to stand at a crossroads. UX requires translating technical capabilities into a visual and behavioral language the user can understand. Additionally, it requires translating user behavior and actions into design implications for a specific product. These tasks do not fall within the purview of the engineer or the product manager.

But the core of the UX job is not translation, it’s design: inventing new behavior and new capabilities, within the scope of a given technology and business model, to create new products. In other words, the UX job is to innovate. UX designers must speak up for innovation and design in an organization that hasn’t given them formal power and often doesn’t recognize their value.  This talk will show how UX can be the innovation engine for an organization. It will discuss the techniques and show the artifacts used to develop ideas and communicate them persuasively to the organization. It will show how to use these techniques opportunistically, guerrilla-fashion, as a UX practitioner.

Hugh will provide examples of driving innovation through UX design for cutting-edge technologies. As PM for a local startup he designed a 3D scanning solution that enabled a pivot to a new business model; he helped Cadillac do a ground-up rethink of their driver interface; at IBM he developed a new model for thinking about network protection that matches real-world security. In each situation, it was the unique perspective of the UX designer that made the difference.

Read MoreThe UX Designer as Innovator

Designing for Human-Robot Interaction with Prof. Holly Yanco

Holly Yanco headshot

  • Prof. HOLLY YANCO, UMass–Lowell
  • Wed. Ap. 12, 2017, at 6:30pm
  • LaCava Center Room 325, Bentley University, Waltham MA 02452
  • Please register. It helps our hosts to plan.


    Robots navigating in difficult and dynamic environments often need assistance from human operators or supervisors, either in the form of tele operation or interventions when the robot’s autonomy can not handle the current situation. Even in more controlled environments, such as office buildings and manufacturing floors, robots may need help from people. This talk will discuss the best practices for controlling both individual robots and groups of robots, in applications ranging from assistive technology to telepresence to search and rescue. A number of methods for human-robot interaction with robot systems, including multi-touch devices, software-based operator control units (softOCUs), game controllers, virtual reality headsets, and Google Glass, will be presented.

    Short Bio

    Dr. Holly Yanco is a Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Computer Science, and Director of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-touch computing, interface design, robot autonomy, fostering trust of autonomous systems, evaluation methods for human-robot interaction, and the use of robots in K-12 education to broaden participation in computer science. Yanco’s research has been funded by NSF, including a CAREER Award, ARO, DARPA, DOE-EM, NASA, NIST, Microsoft, and Google. Yanco was the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction and served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the HRI Conference and Journal from 2013-2016. Yanco has a PhD in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    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

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    BostonCHI is sponsoring pizza.

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    VitaminT is sponsoring dessert.

    Getting There

    Enter the Bentley campus from Forest Road; turn left and park in the lot opposite the Conference Center.

    If you use GPS, please verify that your directions lead to the Conference Center.  Otherwise you may end up at the wrong end of campus.

    Bentley Campus map with Conference Center pin


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