We were really excited to attend the CHI 2015 conference in South Korea, in April. The conference took place in CEOX, an incredible venue, in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
What is CHI?
CHI (pronounced “kai”) is the world’s premiere conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. It’s run by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and has a very broad scope, covering a wide range of disciplines including design, human factors, computer science, visualisation and much more. The conference takes place once a year in different cities around the world and this was the first time it was held in Asia.
Leading scientists and practitioners in the field of Human-Computer Interaction were invited to present their work and share knowledge. There were around 3000 attendees and over 490 papers, keynotes, courses, workshops, presentations, posters and demo exhibits.
We got the chance to try out various demos and innovative technologies such as Oculus Rift, sonic textiles (producing sounds according to our motion patterns) and a variety of tangible and eye tracking technologies.
THE CONFERENCE TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS COVERED A VARIETY OF TOPICS:
- Wearables, designed to help users overcome disabilities and support wellbeing
- Data Visualisation, e.g. new techniques and systems for data visualisation, visualising statistics and graphs
- Game design: Experience design for games, understanding gamers and improving game experience
- User interfaces: Speech and auditory interfaces, aesthetics in UI design, touch interfaces, natural user interfaces, interactions with floors and situated displays
- Healthcare design: Apps, wearables, health sensors and monitoring
- Augmented and VR: The use of physical environment to design VR experiences
- Quantified self design, e.g. emotion tracking, designing applications to support habit formation
- Gestures and interaction, e.g. tangible interactions, smart watch interactions, mid-air gestures and interaction, multi-device interaction
- Designing for difficult audiences, e.g. older people, visually impaired
KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM CHI 2015
Lou Yongqi gave a truly inspiring talk on sustainability and design, covering an amazing analysis of why sustainability is going to be the next big economy and how designing for sustainable interactions is now a matter of survival for the human race (figure 1). In order to avoid the collapse of society the way we know it, we must redesign and manage the interaction between nature, human beings, the artificial and the cyber-world. In the question of how sustainability and capitalism can co-exist, Lou Yongqi explained that eventually, moving towards a sustainable and restorative economy will be commonly accepted and understood as bringing growth to business.
Donghoon Chang on design and the Internet of Things (IoT) era: He stressed the importance of empathetic interfaces, security, privacy and transparency in information flows and how these factors can lead to well-balanced and harmonious IoT environments.
David Min on the challenges we need to face to make people’s lives better. He brought up the importance of Human to Human Interaction (HHI) and explained why achieving collaboration in multidisciplinary teams is the challenge of our age.
PSY on Music, Technology, Media and Future. PSY talked us through his journey to success, the role of social media and the importance of focusing on specific audiences.