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Seminar at Speech, Music and Hearing:

Hybrid Interaction in Unobtrusive Augmented Reality

Alex Olwal, MDI, CSC, KTH

Human Communication seminar series


The fundamental idea of Augmented Reality (AR) is to improve and enhance our perception of the surroundings, through the use of sensing, computing and display systems. This makes it possible to augment the physical environment with virtual computer graphics. AR presents an intuitive and direct user interface to annotate real-world objects without physically altering them, with potential use in many different application areas, including medicine, maintenance and repair, architecture, and entertainment.

The user experience for an AR system is primarily affected by the display type, the system.s sensing capabilities, and the means for interaction. The goal of Unobtrusive AR is to enable walk-up-and-use scenarios that support spontaneous interaction with minimal user preparation. Unencumbering technology is emphasized, as it avoids setups that rely on user-worn equipment, such as head-worn displays or motion sensors.

As the capabilities of display systems, mobile devices, ubiquitous computing and input devices continue to evolve, we are seeing the potential of a heterogenous blend of interaction technologies. Such hybrid user interfaces exploit the ability to distribute and combine the interactive capabilities of different devices, to provide the best possible user experience.

We are currently witnessing a technological revolution with unprecedented connectivity, mobility, distributed computational power, ubiquitous sensing, advanced displays, and interactivity. It is now becoming increasingly possible to deploy many of the concepts, ideas and implementations from early work in areas like mixed reality, telepresence, tangible user interfaces, mobile augmented reality and spatial AR. It is therefore perhaps more important than ever, to emphasize the careful design of hybrid user interfaces and interaction techniques that can empower users to not only fully exploit the capabilities of a rich set of available technologies, but also to allow effective and intuitive manipulations of a blend of real and virtual media.


Alex Olwal (Ph.D. Computer Science) is a research scientist in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm. He has previously worked with the development of new HCI technologies at Columbia University (NY), UC Santa Barbara (CA) and Microsoft Research (WA). Alex\'s research ( focuses on interaction techniques and technology for handheld and spatial Augmented and Mixed Reality systems. His research interests include spatially aware mobile devices, ubiquitous computing, touch-screen interaction, as well as novel interaction devices and displays.

15:15 - 17:00
Friday August 27, 2010

The seminar is held in Fantum.

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Published by: TMH, Speech, Music and Hearing

Last updated: Wednesday, 23-Jun-2010 09:22:46 MEST