BCNM at DIS 2019

11 Jul, 2019

BCNM at DIS 2019

It's always a pleasure to see such incredible BCNM representation at the Designing Interactive Systems Conference. DIS 2019, an ACM International Conference Series, took place June 23rd to June 28th. The premier international and interdisciplinary conference encompassing all issues related to the design and deployment of interactive systems, brings together designers, artists, theorists, psychologists, user experience researchers, systems engineers and many more to debate and shape the future of interaction systems research, design, and practice.

This year's theme “Contesting Borders and Intersections” encouraged submissions that critique, resist, and/or reimagine taken-for-granted boundaries in interactive design research and practices, as well as those that present innovative thinking, and creative or provocative interaction design.

In addition to Ken Goldberg's incredible keynote, which was held as part of the Creativity and Cognition conference, previously covered here, BCNM papers were on display! See below for a showcase of their great work!

Resisting and Reflecting

Paper: Sensing is Believing: What People Think Biosensors Can Reveal About Thoughts and Feelings
Nick Merrill (University of California, Berkeley), John Chuang (University of California, Berkeley), Coye Cheshire (University of California, Berkeley)

Biosensors-devices that sense the human body-are increasingly ubiquitous. However, it is unclear how people evaluate the risks associated with their use, in part because it is not well-understood what people believe these sensors can reveal. In this study, participants ranked biosensors by how likely they are to reveal what a person is thinking and feeling. We report quantitative and qualitative results of two survey-based studies, one on Mechanical Turk workers (n=100), and one on participants in a longitudinal self-tracking study (n=100). Our findings imply that, in the absence of information about particular sensing technologies, people rely on existing beliefs about the body to explain what they might reveal. Highlighting mismatches between perceived and actual technical capabilities, we contribute recommendations for designers and users.

Deformable and Novel Materials

Paper: Phosphenes: Crafting Resistive Heaters within Thermoreactive Composites
Cesar Torres (UC Berkeley), Jessica Chang (UC Berkeley), Advaita Patel (UC Berkeley), Eric Paulos (UC Berkeley)

Hybrid practices are emerging that integrate creative materials like paint, clay, and cloth with intangible immaterials like computation, electricity, and heat. This work aims to expand the design potential of immaterial elements by transforming them into manipulatable, observable and intuitive materials. We explore one such immaterial, electric heat, and develop a maker-friendly fabrication pipeline and crafting support tool that allows users to experientially compose resistive heaters that generate heat spatially and temporally. These heaters are then used to couple heat and thermoreactive materials in a class of artifacts we term Thermoreactive Composites (TrCs). In a formal user study, we observe how designing fabrication workflows along dimensions of composability and perceivability better matches the working styles of material practitioners without domain knowledge of electronics. Through exemplar artifacts, we demonstrate the potential of heat as a creative material and discuss implications for immaterials used within creative practices.

Pictorial: Sensing Kirigami
Best Pictorial
Clement Zheng (University of Colorado, Boulder), HyunJoo Oh (Georgia Institute of Technology), Laura Devendorf (University of Colorado Boulder), Ellen Yi-Luen Do (University of Colorado Boulder)

This pictorial presents our material-driven inquiry into carbon-coated paper and kirigami structures. We investigated two variations of this paper and their affordances for tangible interaction; particularly their electrical, haptic, and visual aspects when shaped into three-dimensional forms through cutting, folding, and bending. Through this exploration, we uncovered distinct affordances between the two paper types for sensing folds and bends, due to differences in their material compositions. From these insights, we propose three applications that showcase the possibilities of this material for tangible interaction design. In addition, we leverage the pictorial format to expose working design schematics for others to take up their own explorations.

Gendered Considerations

Pictorial: Vivewell: Speculating Near-Future Menstrual Tracking through Current Data Practices
Sarah Fox (University of California, San Diego), Noura Howell (University of California), Richmond Wong (University of California Berkeley), Franchesca Spektor (University of California, Berkeley)

In this pictorial, we explore how emergent menstrual biosensing technologies compound existing concerns for the everyday ethics of extracting and analyzing intimate data. Specifically, we review the data practices of a set of existing menstrual tracking applications and use that analysis to inform the design of speculative near future technologies. We present these technologies here in the form of a product catalog for a fictional company called Vivewell. Through this work, we contribute both a set of speculative design proposals and a case study of a design project that begins with the analysis of existing data policies.


Paper: Use Your Head! Exploring Interaction Modalities for Hat Technologies
Christine Dierk (UC Berkeley), Scott Carter (FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.), Patrick Chiu (FX Palo Alto Laboratory), Tony Dunnigan (FX Palo Alto Laboratory), Don Kimber (FX Palo Alto Laboratory)

As our landscape of wearable technologies proliferates, we find more devices situated on our heads. However, many challenges hinder them from widespread adoption - from their awkward, bulky form factor (today's AR and VR goggles) to their socially stigmatized designs (Google Glass) and a lack of a well-developed head-based interaction design language. In this paper, we explore a socially acceptable, large, head-worn interactive wearable - a hat. We report results from a gesture elicitation study with 17 participants, extract a taxonomy of gestures, and define a set of design concerns for interactive hats. Through this lens, we detail the design and fabrication of three hat prototypes capable of sensing touch, head movements, and gestures, and including ambient displays of several types. Finally, we report an evaluation of our hat prototype and insights to inform the design of future hat technologies.