Innovation Contest and Demos at UIST 2010

Jessica Cauchard

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What a day! We started it at the beautiful Judson Memorial Church, crowded with more than 300 people attending UIST 2010, which is a new record. The sessions covered new input and output interfaces with hands, pens, and phones used on touch screens, interactive tables, or even in the air. The applications for those interfaces were varied, going from unusual text entry techniques to a new way of performing art! You can know more about some of those papers by reading Langxuan's article.


At 7 pm, we all arrived at the Theatre for the New City for the Student Innovation Contest and the demo session. There were so many people and so many demos that it became a mission to see everything and talk to everybody!


For the student innovation contest, the teams had been given only a few weeks to come up with an exciting application for a unique Adaptive keyboard supplied by Microsoft Applied Sciences, equipped with a touch screen on the upper part of the keyboard and a screen located under the keys. Teams came from all over the planet, as far as Japan and Australia, to take part in the contest. Some of the projects used the keyboard as a stand-alone device for games or personalized applications such as Twitter. Some other teams decided to use it as a normal keyboard with enhanced functionalities while some other teams came with very creative ideas such as combining it with other items, such as a projector, in order to sit more comfortably and look at the ceiling while using the keyboard. The results will be presented at this evening's banquet.


Each demo was more exciting than the previous one! Amongst my favorites were Sidhant Gupta’s SqueezeBlock, an output interface based on springs that could be adapted on mobile technologies so the user can feel if an event occurred, with their phone (without having to take it out). Another interesting demo was a sports game using a depth camera. Other demos included augmented reality technology, new types of touch screens filled with liquids and magnets, artificial intelligence systems, and even dancing robots.


Let’s now see what excitement this second day will bring us!


Jessica Cauchard is a Ph.D. research student at the Interaction and Graphics group at the University of Bristol, UK. Her research interests are user interfaces for mobile devices and embedded technologies such as projector phones. She is also the founder of the Bristol Girl Geek Dinners.

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