Spotlight on the GI members at Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS) 2018

Several members of the Games Institute and the UW Touchlab participated in the 13th annual ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces & Spaces (ISS) in Tokyo, Japan from November 25-28, 2018. The research they presented ranged from work on multi-touch surfaces and interactive 3D spaces to optimizing how health care providers collect feedback from patients.

The conference included a demo session, interactive posters to present late-breaking work, two pre-conference workshops to enable focused work to advance cutting-edge topics, and a doctoral consortium to provide valuable, personalized feedback to student researchers.

Mark HancockAssociate Director of the Games Institute and Associate Professor in Management Sciences, accepted the 10 Year Impact Award on behalf of himself and co-authors Sheelagh Carpendale and Thomas ten Cate, for their paper "Sticky tools: full 6DOF force-based interaction for multi-touch tables". 

Leila Homaeian, Games Institute resident and PhD student at the Interactive Data Exploration and Analysis (IDEA) lab, was the video chair at ISS. She was responsible for, among others, setting up the video capture station at the venue, training student volunteers on how to use them, and overseeing the video recording process.

Leila's dedication ensured that the research presented can be disseminated to a wider audience: the talks from ISS 2018 are now available for your viewing pleasure on ACM SIGCHI's Youtube Channel.

Leila also presented a paper during the Doctoral Consortium at ISS. Her paper looked at the impact of data transfer user interfaces on communication grounding in cross-device collaborative environments.

Cayley MacArthur, GI resident and PhD student in Systems Design Engineering, was the Student Volunteer Co-Chair at ISS. She was responsible for recruiting and co-ordinating the student volunteers and providing support to the conference participants coming from all over the world. 

The 15+ volunteers hailing from as far as Italy and Hawaii not only made sure the conference ran smoothly, but presented work of their own as active members of the research community.

Student Volunteering (or SVing) is an excellent opportunity at ACM conferences to interact with senior researchers and make longterm friendships in the academic community.

- Cayley MacArthur

Marvin Pafla, Systems Design MA student, volunteered at the conference as well as presented a paper entitled "Increasing Passersby Engagement with Public Large Interactive Displays: A Study of Proxemics and Conation". This research addresses the issue that many users don't engage with public displays because of the phenomena of Display Blindness and Interaction Blindness.

Pafla presented the Master's work of GI alum Mojgan Ghare, which investigates how the animation and symbology on a public display affects Display and Interaction Blindness with regards to human attention and conation (the motivation of voluntary interaction with the display).

Pafla presented the study results to the audience at ISS. The study involved using a Kinect V2 and a video analysis to investigate how symbols and proximity to a display affected user engagement across 2613 people. This publication was also co-authored by GI faculty James Wallace  and Stacey Scott, and MA student Caroline Wong

Tina Chan, MSc student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, was a student volunteer, she created the swag designs, and she presented a poster entitled "SmartSurveys: Does Context Influence Whether We'll Share Healthcare Experience Data with our Smartphone?" at ISS.

Her poster presented a study in which Chan investigated how patient feedback is collected by health care providers. The quality of service by healthcare providers is extremely impactful for patients, therefore it's crucial that healthcare providers collect feedback from patients so that they can learn how to improve the overall experience.

Chan's research involved using a survey tool made by a waterloo region startup, MetricWire, that collected feedback from users about the quality of service across different settings in real time. Her poster also discussed how to better understand the factors that influences how people provide feedback in healthcare spaces, like hospitals, compared to non-healthcare spaces, like grocery stores.

Danniel Varona-Marin, former student of GI faculty member Stacey Scott and current UX Researcher at Microsoft, presented "Post-meeting Curation of Whiteboard Content Captured with Mobile Devices" and received an honourable mention award for this work, based on his MA research.

Danniel's research seeks to understand how we can make our whiteboard annotations more useful once meetings end, by using technology.


On behalf of our members and alum who participated in the conference, The Games Institute thanks our generous hosts in Tokyo and we look forward to 2019's conference in Daejeon, Korea! The full proceedings of ISS 2018 can be accessed through the ACM Digital Library.