Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First day at HCI Conference

This HCI conference is huge. This has the advantage to be able to get in contact with many people in the field. Of course, this also has the disadvantage that one cannot attend all of the many parallel sessions. There are usually 24 parallel sessions - full of interesting talks. I guess, I will have to study the DVD with all the papers later, to get the most out of this conference. Unfortunately I did not bring a DVD reader with me - is not built-in in my light laptop. The morning sessions included topics of interfaces, AR/VR, human-robot interaction, and many other related issues or ergonomics and human factors.

There were also several exhibitors: Tobii showed their eye tracker, a few companies showed some demos of automatic interaction through face tracking, and several publishers displayed their current program. In the foyer there were 370 posters - some of the poster wall, howerver, were empty, due to the presenters not being present.

One of the afternoon sessions was chaired by my friend Marc Fabri, about "Emotions in HCI". Interesting perspectives and investigations. Also Marc himself gave a talk about his PhD work on emotional avatars. One software glitch: the laptop just displayed the avatar head - no GUI of the messenger app showed up. Looked still quite nice, these two heads just nodding around on the desktop - there must be an application for this!

The last session this day was chaired by Prof. Andreas Holzinger, about Future Interfaces in Technology-Enhanced Learning. Quite a relevant topic, also considering our Leeds Met focus on eLearning. I gave there the 2nd talk: it had actually been prepared by my student Johannes Christian, but he was unable to attend the conference. The session went well, everybody kept their 15 min time - Andreas made sure that the session ended in time, as he had to go on to a board meeting right after the session.

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