Human-Computer Interaction Seminar

  • Newell-Simon Hall
  • Mauldin Auditorium 1305
  • Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Co-Director, Dynamic Graphics Project
  • University or Toronto

Achieving Real Virtuality: Closing the Gap Between the Digital and the Physical

As digital interaction spreads to an increasing number of devices, direct physical manipulation has become the dominant metaphor in HCI. The promise made by this approach is that digital content will look, feel, and respond like content from the real world. Current commercial systems fail to keep that promise, leaving a broad gulf between what users are led to expect and what they see and feel. In this talk, Daniel will discuss two areas where his lab has been making strides to address this gap. First, in the area of passive haptics, he will describe technologies intended to enable users to feel virtual content, without having to wear gloves or hold “poking” devices. Second, in the area of systems performance, he will describe his team’s work in achieving nearly zero latency responses to touch and stylus input.

Daniel Wigdor is an associate professor of computer science and co-director of the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of human-computer interaction, with major areas of focus in the architecture of highly-performant UI’s, on development methods for ubiquitous computing, and on post-WIMP interaction methods. Before joining the faculty at U of T in 2011, Daniel was a researcher at Microsoft Research, the user experience architect of the Microsoft Surface Table, and a company-wide expert in user interfaces for new technologies. Simultaneously, he served as an affiliate assistant professor in both the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and the Information School at the University of Washington. Prior to 2008, he was a fellow at the Initiative in Innovative Computing at Harvard University, and conducted research as part of the DiamondSpace project at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs. He is co-founder of Iota Wireless, a startup dedicated to the commercialization of his research in mobile-phone gestural interaction, and of Tactual Labs, a startup dedicated to the commercialization of his research in high-performance, low-latency user input.

For his research, he has been awarded an Ontario Early Researcher Award (2014) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Research Fellowship (2015), as well as best paper awards or honorable mentions at CHI 2016, CHI 2015, CHI 2014, Graphics Interface 2013, CHI 2011, and UIST 2004. Three of his projects were selected as the People’s Choice Best Talks at CHI 2014 and CHI 2015.

Faculty Host: Chris Harrison

Daniel is the co-author of Brave NUI World | Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture, the first practical book for the design of touch and gesture interfaces. He has also published dozens of other works as invited book chapters and papers in leading international publications and conferences, and is an author of over three dozen patents and pending patent applications. Daniel’s is sought after as an expert witness, and has testified before courts in the United Kingdom and the United States.

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