An important commonality of today’s cutting-edge user interfaces is that they are much more physical than their predecessors. No matter if we interact using our bodies in Augmented or Virtual Reality, if we use gestures to interact in Smart Rooms or with Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, or if we communicate using high-tech fashionable Wearables: physicality is key! Instead of using a conventional touch-screen, these interfaces build on the rich capabilities of how we humans interact and communicate.

The goal of this seminar is to acquire basic conceptual and practical skills in developing physical user interfaces. The seminar will cover the following topics:

  • Conceptual basics of ubiquitous computing, tangible interaction, embodied interaction
  • Basic electronics and microcontroller programming (Arduino)
  • Prototyping and digital fabrication (3D printing, milling, and cutting)
  • Applied machine learning
  • Development of applications based on learned technologies

Touch interaction has become the predominant way of interaction with modern computing devices. However, the gestures that we routinely use on touchscreens are just the tip of the iceberg: they represent only the beginning of a future that comprises much more advanced touch and haptic interfaces. These interfaces will include rich haptic feedback. They will go beyond simple touch contact and instead leverage on the rich characteristics of how humans touch and manipulate objects. And they will extend beyond the confines of a rigid and rectangular touchscreen and get integrated into clothing, the human body, the physical environment, or a virtual reality experience.

In this seminar, we will cover advanced research topics in the area of touch and haptic interfaces. We will focus on recent research results that were published at top-tier conferences and journals. This comprises research papers from the following areas: Touch sensing, design and detection of touch gestures, rich touch interactions beyond simple touch contact, touch on tiny devices, haptic feedback, haptics in AR and VR, touch on the body, social touch, touch on interactive textiles, touch interaction with robots.