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(March 2010) Next Generation Tabletop Interfaces

by on February 23, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
Meeting Room #2
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo
[Map]

“One day, your computer will be a big-ass table.”

As the above parody so hilariously illustrates, we have yet see tabletop interfaces in every home. We’re at least a few years away from finding them in Best Buy or Future Shop. However, specialized markets for these devices are indeed emerging — and new applications are on the horizon. This month, Stacey Scott will overview some of the digital tabletop research being conducted in the Collaborative Systems Laboratory at the University of Waterloo. She’ll focus on two specific application areas: military command and control operations, and digital board gaming.

Even before Microsoft announced the Surface system in 2007, the Human-Computer Interaction community was actively researching digital tabletop technologies since Pierre Wellner proposed the DigitalDesk in 1991. Yet only recently have hardware and software advances begun to make digital tabletops a feasible technology for real-world markets. Innovations in operating systems (e.g., Microsoft 7), development environments (e.g., Windows Presentation Foundation), and input technologies (e.g., FTIR and TouchCo “multitouch” technologies) are enabling a move beyond proof-of-concept tabletop systems. We’re also well beyond simple demonstrations of new interface metaphors and interaction techniques for manipulating and sharing digital photos.

RSVPs requested

If you’re hoping to attend, please help us anticipate numbers by registering here RSVP’ing to Wanda Eby at Communitech. Thanks!

About the speaker

Stacey Scott is an Assistant Professor of Human Systems Engineering in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Scott received her Ph.D. in Computer Science (specializing in Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Collaboration) from the University of Calgary in 2005. She received her B.Sc. in Computing Science and Mathematics from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) in 1997. She completed two years of postdoctoral studies in the Humans and Automation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA) from 2005-2007, where she developed awareness technologies to facilitate collaborative decision-making in time-critical military command and control operations.

Dr. Scott’s graduate research focused on understanding collaborative tabletop work practices with traditional media and developing interface design requirements for digital tabletop platforms. She is now combining this previous theoretical and high-level requirements work with the applied research experience gained in her postdoc to pursue the development of digital tabletop systems that support real-world collaboration in complex task domains. In general, her research interests include computer-supported collaboration, large-screen displays, interface and interaction design, and information visualization.

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