ITS 2010 – Day 2

I’m attending ITS 2010 – the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2010 in Saarbrücken, Germany. This is a short collection of interesting stuff I’ve seen and heard on day 2 (Monday, 6. November 2010).

(The demo and poster session is like a huge, dark playground with (literally) tons of amazing touch interfaces.)

Monday was the first day of paper presentations. There was a wealth of papers on several topics. Therefore my account is very selective. You can get all papers at the conference website.

The day started very relaxing with “Tafelmusik“, two musicians with a digital audio sequencer and a table full of objects that make sounds. See their website for a photo. By sampling them and continuously replaying these sounds they created a sound landscape – sometimes soothing and sometimes fascinating.

Brad Paley gave a keynote covering a wide range of topics but centering about ways to visualize information. Some of his claims:

  • “CHI” considered harmful: instead “computer mediated human-to-human interaction”
  • Color is bad for encoding data
  • Consistence *impairs* performance
  • 15:1 increases in information density, 20:1 speed-ups can be easily reached
  • “users” considered harmful

While Brad did not explicitly say so, I think in their entirety these claims only apply to UIs for expert users, however.

Afterwards, Malte Weiss (RWTH Aachen) presented “BendDesk: Dragging Across the Curve” [PDF]. He and Simon Voelker built a desk with an interactive surface bent partly upwards. Malte kindly mentioned Curve – our research on this topic. We are currently figuring out how to connect both prototypes for remote interaction.

In the same session, Yvonne Jansen presented MudPad [PDF], a tactile display using ferrofluid and magnets.

Antti Virolainen presented an interactive surface made out of ice (FTIR in ice is probably not possible).

Hrvoje Benko (Microsoft Research) presented another spherical multitouch surface – but this time a large dome where you walk inside [PDF]. Interesting link from his talk:

In the afternoon, Dietrich Kammer (TU Dresden) presented an interesting theoretical framework for describing gestures [PDF].

For me, the demo and poster session is always the highlight of a conference. At ITS 2010 it took place at DFKI. There was a wealth of really cool demos and interesting posters. As I had to present my own poster (“Some Thoughts on a Model of Touch-Sensitive Surfaces” [PDF]), I did not find time to have a look at every demo. However, there was an amazing mixture of art, high-tech hardware, and applications. See the photos on Facebook!

While I liked some demos and posters more than others, I did not fill out my voting sheet for best poster or demo. More on this later.

Photo taken from the official ITS 2010 Facebook album:

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