Friday 27 August 2010

Chinese German Symposium on Wearable Computing in Chengdu

The Sino-German Symposium on Wearable Computing in Chengdu provided an interesting opportunity to get together with colleagues in China that work on similar topics.
My talk was entitled "Interaction on the Move - Wearable User Interfaces" and look at a very high level perspective at mobile and wearable interaction. As the main objective of the symposium is to initiate collaboration I also included some slides on the other work we are doing.

Bernt Schiele looked back on his early work in 1998 at MIT with Sandy Pentland and reflected on how wearable computing has evolved. It seems than many of the scenarios that were originally envisioned are now realized on smart phones and it seems that an active usage model - people taking the device explicitly instead of having something that is always on and in their face. However looking back on some of the early visions (continuous capture, contextual support) they are still attractive and the technology may be there to realize them for real. One example of a system that could now be easily realized and may have a growing market could be a device similar to the StartleCam [1], providing personal safety services.

Feng Tian, one of the top HCI researchers in China gave an overview of their current work which I found very exciting (especially the projects related to sports and education). Hopefully there is a chance for future collaboration.

There is more information on the symposium and on the Sino-German collaboration at

[1] Healey, J. and Picard, R. W. 1998. StartleCam: A Cybernetic Wearable Camera. In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 19 - 20, 1998). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 42.

In the talks and conversation I saw a set of technologies I like to remember (and share) some of them: