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CHI 2013:人机交互领域那些令人兴奋的新技术

编者按:CHI是人机交互领域首屈一指的国际盛会,它的独特魅力就如今年的举办地巴黎——这座美丽的城市在无数游客心目中的形象一般。微软亚洲研究院人机交互组副研究员Koji Yatani带着自己最新的研究成果去往现场,除展示自己的作品外,他也看到了其他研究员分享的这个领域令人兴奋的新技术。那么,究竟是什么令他激动不已、令他迫不及待地撰文想要与我们分享呢?马上为你呈现!

作者:微软亚洲研究院 副研究员 Koji Yatani

CHI全称 “ACM SIGCHI计算系统中的人因学会议(ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems)”,是人机交互(Human-Computer Interaction)领域内首屈一指的国际盛会。今年,大约有3500名科研人员齐聚美丽的城市巴黎,共同分享了人机交互领域最新的研究成果。参会期间,我见到了不少非常酷的研究项目演示和以及充满奇思妙想的研究人员,在接下来的文章中,我将分别从计算机(Computer)、人(Human)和交互(Interaction)三个角度,与大家分享我在CHI 2013会议上的见闻及感受。

计算机(Comupter):令人兴奋的新型互动系统及技术

今年的会议上,我看到了很多非常酷的互动系统及技术,它们总能引起我的兴趣。会议上令人兴奋的技术太多,我无法逐一介绍,只能具体谈谈显示技术

1. SpaceTop:3D互动桌面

来自麻省理工学院和微软的研究人员展示了一个3D互动桌面环境,称之为 SpaceTop。SpaceTop使用透明显示器,用户把键盘和自己的双手放置在显示器后面。随后,用户可以通过手势来移动显示屏上的数字对象,以操纵现实世界物体的方法去操作网页、文档和视频这是一场很有未来感的桌面计算演示。

论文下载:http://leejinha.com/SpaceTop

媒体报道:SpaceTop 3D桌面:把手伸进电脑屏幕

2. IllumiRoom:外围投射的互动视觉体验

IllumiRoom是最令我印象深刻的作品之一,由微软雷德蒙研究院的研究人员开发。通过使用Kinect传感器和投影仪,系统能够把电视屏幕延伸到整个房间里。投射在电视屏幕周围的图像营造了额外的环绕情境,并形成了沉浸式环境。这个想法听起来很简单,但却能够给人留下深刻印象。

论文下载:http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/illumiroom/

媒体报道:整个房间变成游戏场景,微软展示IllumiRoom技术

3. 柔性显示屏技术

我在今年的CHI上看到的另外一个很喜欢的演示是柔性显示器技术。加拿大奎恩斯(Queens)大学研究人员演示的MorePhone项目借助能够编程控制的可折叠显示器,将手机状态告知用户。例如,MorePhone并不会显示用户只有在打开手机后才能看得到的新邮件图标,而是会把显示器的一部分折叠起来。人们还进行了将可折叠显示器用作输入方式的探索(例如,你可以通过弯曲显示器的方法来放大或缩小画面),但这个项目的新颖之处在于探索可折叠作为输出方式的性能。

媒体报道:MorePhone柔性屏幕概念手机:来电自动弯曲

(编者:这款柔性显示屏原型机很独特,它可以通过弯曲程度来提醒用户电话、短信等不同的通知。)

4. 置换现实头盔

显示有时候并不一定要在屏幕上才能进行。信息还可以通过更加可穿戴式、更令人身临其境的方式展示出来。日本庆应义塾(Keio)大学的研究人员演示了他们近期在“置换现实”方面的研究工作。置换现实是日本理化学研究所 Naotaka Fujii博士最近发现的一种混合型现实系统。假定用户将随时佩戴HMD(头戴式显示器),而系统则会记录下他所看到的一切。当场景与过去的录制信息大体上重合时,置换现实就能够在用户无法察觉的情况下在现实和过去之间切换。如果切换是如此流畅,用户将无法知道她看到的是现实还是录制影像。这样就能创建一个沉浸式的混合现实环境。Kevin Fan和他的合作者研究了听觉和触觉反馈会对置换现实的感知产生哪些影响。该项目的另一位合作者Kouta Minamizawa博士获得了微软亚洲研究院通过CORE项目计划为该项研究提供的资助。我很高兴他们已经取得了成功,并期待将来看到更令人兴奋的成果。

论文下载:http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120621/srep00459/pdf/srep00459.pdf

媒体报道:日本研制盗梦空间头盔:难辨现实与虚幻

人(Human):老面孔,新面孔

但他们当中,我最乐于见到的是我们往期的实习生们。来自美国印第安纳大学—普渡大学印第安纳波利斯分校的Joan Savage也出席了会议。我们共同发表了一篇长文HyperSlides的论文。来自早稻田大学的刘野枫也在会场。他曾是我和Darren Edge(微软亚洲研究院人机交互组的另一位研究员)的实习生,我们共同合作了SidePoint项目。来自布里斯托尔大学的Jessica Cauchard曾与我们人机交互研究组的曹翔合作过,他也出席了此次会议。

看到这些老面孔总是很令人高兴,但结交新朋友也不亦乐乎。在这个意义上说,今年的会议还非常特别,因为我遇见了两个即将成为我们老朋友的学生。

Taku Hachisu是日本电气通信大学的博士生,他在会议上演示了一种新颖的桌面系统,它能感觉到手或物体触摸显示屏时的接近速度。探测接近速度时的采样率比现有技术要快得多,因此他的系统可被用于提供无延迟触觉反馈。Taku Hachisu现正与微软亚洲研究院人机交互组的Kwangtak Kim合作。

担当学生志愿者是参加会议的另一种很好的方式。CHI是一次规模庞大的会议,没有学生志愿者的帮助是不可能举行的。学生志愿者有很好的机会与其他同学建立人脉联系。在2010年大会上,我也担当过学生志愿者,而且很享受这个过程。今年的会议上,我结识了两名学生志愿者:来自东京大学的Genki Furumi和来自庆应义塾大学的Kevin Fan。Genki Furumi目前正与Darren Edge和我一道,在微软亚洲研究院人机交互组共事。

交互(Interaction):在会议以外建立人脉

CHI不只是一场展示人机交互领域前沿科研成果的盛会,它还总能给你提供一些有趣的机会,让你在会议以外建立人脉。

就在CHI之前一天,中国的人机交互研究人员在巴黎举办了一次名为“中国 CHI”的会议。约100位来自世界各地的华裔研究人员参加了此次会议,其中包括来自谷歌的翟树民、纪怀新和毕小俊,来自日本高知工科大学的任向实等。来自微软亚洲研究院的曹翔是活动的组织者之一,他在介绍这次活动时表示:“我们不仅能遇到每年都在CHI上见面的老朋友们,而且这场活动为许多其他华裔研究人员创造了机会来分享他们的研究,以及享受CHI这场学术大餐。”

中国人在会场外的沟通交流是以比较正式的会议形式,而日本人看上去就显得更加地随意了,通常是以聚会的形式来呈现。包括我在内的日本人机交互方向的研究人员共同度过了一个“CHI日本之夜”。我和朋友们从去年开始组织这项活动,其目的在于突破社交屏障,特别是对学生。日本学生往往羞于与教授和资深研究人员沟通——虽然这种互动是非常重要的。“CHI日本之夜”活动保持了休闲鸡尾酒会的气氛,并鼓励人们与来自不同机构的同行们交谈。今年,大约有60人参加了活动,参与者饶有兴味地与他们的新朋友分享了自己的兴趣和想法。我希望青年学生能够利用这个场合与教授、资深研究员和同学们开展极富价值的互动。

那么,接下来还有什么

CHI会议的规模越来越大。我们很高兴地看到,有如此众多的同行在人机交互领域工作,而且我们仍在吸引更多的研究人员和学生。特别需要指出的是,在近些年的CHI会议上,我们看到了越来越多的亚洲面孔。明年CHI将在加拿大多伦多举行,此后是韩国。我希望我们作为亚洲研究人员,能保持这一趋势,把活动越做越大。

英文原稿:

CHI is the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, and it is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction (HCI). This year, approximately 3,500 attendees gathered at a beautiful city of Paris. I saw many cool research projects and people. I just wanted to share my experience at CHI with you.

Computer: Exciting New Interactive Systems and Technologies

This year, I saw a lot of very cool interactive systems and techniques, which are always intriguing to me. I cannot introduce all of them, but I would like to talk specifically about display technologies. Researchers at MIT and Microsoft presented a 3D interactive desktop environment called SpaceTop. SpaceTop uses a transparent display, and the user places a keyboard and her hands behind the display. The user can then manipulate digital objects on the display by performing hand gestures. Pretty futuristic work on desktop computing.

One of the most impressive work I saw was IllumiRoom, developed by researchers at MSR Redmond. By using a Kinect sensor and projector, the system extends your TV screen to the entire room. The projected images around the TV screen offers additional surrounding contexts, and creates an immersive environment. It sounds like a simple idea, but really impressive.

Another of my favorite displays I saw at CHI this year was flexible displays. MorePhone presented by researchers at Queen’s University, Canada, uses programmatically-controllable foldable displays to inform the user of the statue of the phone. For example, instead of showing an icon of incoming emails which the user cannot see without turning on the phone, MorePhone folds up part of a display. Foldable displays have been explored as an input modality (e.g., you can do zoom-in/out by bending the display), but the novelty of this work is to explore the capability of foldable as an output modality.

Displaying is not just about screens. Information can be displayed in a more wearable and immersive manner. Researchers from Keio University, Japan presented their recent work on Substitutional Reality. Substitutional Reality is a mixed reality system recently discovered by Dr. Naotaka Fujii at RIKEN. Under the assumption that the user is wearing an HMD (head-mounted display) all the time and the system records the vision of the user. When the scene is substantially overlapped with the recorded past, Substitutional Reality switches between the reality and past without letting the user know. If the switching is so smooth, the user would not be aware of whether she is seeing the reality or recorded image. This creates an immersive mixed reality environment. Kevin Fan and his collaborators examined how auditory and haptic feedback could affect the perception of Substitutional Reality. Dr. Kouta Minamizawa, who is one of the collaborators, was awarded funding for this research from MSRA through the CORE project program. I was very glad that they are already successful, and am looking forward to seeing even more exciting outcomes in the future.

Human: Old Faces, New Faces

As CHI is the largest international conference in the field of HCI, I can always see many of my friends; surely, my folks from other MSR labs, but also my old friends of University of Toronto alumni, my research collaborators in Japan and Korea.

But among them, it was the best to see our intern alumni. Joan Savage from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was at the conference. We had a full-paper publication (HyperSlides) and she also enjoyed our presentation at CHI. Yefeng Liu from Waseda University was there too. He was an intern of Darren Edge and me, and I presented our collaborative project, SidePoint project. Jessica Cauchard from University of Bristol, who worked with Xiang Cao at our HCI group, also attended a conference.

It is always great to see these old faces, but meeting new faces another great fun. This year was very special in this sense because I met two students who will be our old faces. Let me introduce them.

Taku Hachisu is a Ph.D. student at Electro-Communication University, Japan, and presented his work on a novel tabletop system which enables to sense the approaching velocity of a hand or object that is touching the display. The sampling rate of sensing the approaching velocity is much faster than existing technologies, and his system can be used to provide no-delay haptic feedback. Taku is now working with Kwangtak Kim at MSRA HCI group.

Student volunteers is another great way to participate in the conference. CHI is a huge conference, and it would not be possible without their help. Student volunteers have a great opportunity to get connected with other fellow students. I also did a student volunteer in 2010, and greatly enjoyed. This year, there were two students volunteers I acquainted: Genki Furumi from University of Tokyo and Kevin Fan from Keio University. And Genki Furumi is currently working with Darren Edge and me at MSRA HCI group.

Interaction: Get Connected outside the Conference

CHI is not just about a conference. There are always interesting opportunities to get connected with people outside the conference. This year, there were many co-located events, and some of them were themed as Asia.

Chinese HCI researchers organized a conference called “Chinese CHI” in Paris just one day before CHI.

Around 100 Chinese researchers all over the world attended this event, including Shumin Zhai, Ed Chi, and Xiaojun Bi from Google, and Xiangshi Ren from Kochi Institute of Technology, Japan. Xiang Cao from MSRA, one of the organizers, described this event as follows:

“Not only did we see old friends that we meet at CHI every year, but this event also created opportunities for many other Chinese researchers to come and share their research, and also enjoy the CHI conference itself.”

If we say that Chinese go with formality by having a conference, Japanese would go with fun by having a party. Japanese HCI researchers, including me, had CHI Japan Night. My friends and I started to organize this event since last year. This event is intended to be social ice-breaking, particularly for students. Japanese students are often very shy to talk to professors and senior researchers although interacting with them is quite important. This CHI Japan Night maintains the atmosphere of a casual cocktail party, and people are encouraged to talk to those from different institutes. This year, we had approximately 60 people, and enjoyed sharing interests and thoughts with their new friends. I hope that young students had invaluable interaction with professors, senior researchers and fellow students.

So, what’s next?

CHI has been getting larger and larger. It is great to see that so many people are working in the field of HCI and we are still attracting more researchers and students. Particularly, we have seen strong presence from Asia at recent CHI. CHI will be held at Toronto, Canada, next year, and after this, it will be in Korea. I hope that we as researchers in Asia can keep this trend, and even make it larger.

作者简介:

Koji Yatani,微软亚洲研究院人机交互组副研究员。他在加拿大多伦多大学取得博士学位,主要的研究方向包括人机交互(HCI)和普适计算(Ubiquitous Computing)具体感兴趣的课题包括支持用户移动设备/普适计算机环境的新型遥感技术,计算机语言交互系统,以及基于定性定量方法的深入评价交互系统的开发。此外,他在机器学习、数据分析、计算机语言、心理学和生理学领域也有所涉猎。

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