Cesar Torres at UIST

24 Oct, 2016

Cesar Torres at UIST

The BCNM was thrilled to provide Cesar Torres (EECS) with a conference travel grant to help defray the costs associated with sharing his research across the globe! Hear more about his recent presentation at UIST 2016 in Tokyo below!

In a city of strobing RGB lights, performing robots, and precision train schedules, Tokyo was an apt choice for the site of the 29th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST) formed by the international community that invents, re-imagines, and critiques emerging technologies in human-computer interaction. Roughly 200 delegates attended the conference presenting work ranging from crowdsourcing, digital fabrication, virtual reality, and novel sensing techniques. Through a generous travel grant from BCNM, I was able to attend and co-present alongside Joanne Lo our year-long collaboration with Adobe Research. Spinning off Joanne's previous work developing aesthetically-pleasing temporary electronic tattoos, we sought to build a tool that would aid users without an electronics background to design and fabricate other types of aesthetic electronics in an expanding environment of conductive materials and processes. We presented Ellustrate, a web application that runs on tablet interfaces, which allows users to sketch similar to other drawing applications yet this tool ensures users develop an electrically valid design, encoding circuit rules for a variety of materials including copper tape, silver ink, graphite paint, and conductive thread. The tool then guides the user to physically make and troubleshoot their circuit. Three other talks, including one from Berkeley, focused on electronic design tools and materials, and synergized on aiding users with the holistic circuit design cycle - from design, fabrication, to debugging.

The experience of holding this conference in Tokyo, especially with the amount of stimulus from the six-story arcades, overflowing Shinjuku district, and buzzing pachinko parlours, was unique and foreshadowed the growing aesthetic being transformed and augmented by technology. We were excited to probe this space with our aesthetic electronics design tool and look forward to the kinds of designs that will make their way onto our skin, clothes, and devices.

The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) is the premier forum for innovations in human-computer interfaces. Sponsored by ACM special interest groups on computer-human interaction (SIGCHI) and computer graphics (SIGGRAPH), UIST brings together people from diverse areas including graphical & web user interfaces, tangible & ubiquitous computing, virtual & augmented reality, multimedia, new input & output devices, and CSCW. The intimate size and intensive program make UIST an ideal opportunity to exchange research results and ideas.

Read more about UIST 2016 here.