Impressions on Augmented Human 2013

by Marc Ericson C. Santos (Doctor Student 1)

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 4th Augmented Human International Conference (AH2013) held at  Stuttgart, Germany from March 7-8, 2013. AH2013 is my first HCI-themed conference and I’m overwhelmed with the variety of topics other researchers are working on. I feel inspired with the many brilliant ideas on how to use sensors, physics and psychology models, and metrics for evaluating interfaces. Somehow, the participants’ energy and success stories makes me want to work harder on my own research topic.

Here are some trivia from this year’s conference:

1. The acceptance rate is 55%. This is considered a high acceptance rate, however, AH’s statistics improved from last year in terms of number of submissions.

2. Around 1/3 of the participants are from Japan. Because of this, it was decided that AH2014 will be held at Kobe under Prof. Tsutomu Terada.

3. There is only one session so around 80 people will listen to you when you present. That’s very many compared to top conferences.

My Poster

I did a poster presentation and at first I was nervous because I do not know how much the participants are interested in the kind of work I do. I was relieved when I realized that the people are very appreciative, and they understand quickly the value of the research after a short explanation. The top comments/suggestions/questions I received are as follows:

1. The difficulty with this kind of work is the metric. – Thad Starner (Lead for Project Glass)

Answer: This is true. In the future, I do foresee that I need a good metric to defend the advantage of my system.

2. How do you want to track the body for AR x-ray? Marker? Kinect? – Masahiko Inami (Keio University)

Answer: Marker. Because I plan to use AR x-ray to many objects, not just the body.

3. Do you want to animate the body organs? –  Stuttgart Grad Student

Answer: It is a good visualization. (But, I think I won’t have time for that. It will deviate me from my plans. If I can get an intern to do it, then its okay.)

4. Can I interact with the virtual object? – Conference Attendee

Answer: Aside from change in viewpoint, I plant to include other necessary interactions for learning.

5. How much more time have you got to implement this? – a Professor

Answer: I still have 2.5 years.

6. Doesn’t x-ray add additional commuting expense?

Answer: Yes, but the iPad can still handle it.

I was not able to count how many visited my booth but I was busy the entire first day. Here are some of my other impressions in pictures:

Inside the Stuttgart Campus. I liked the campus because it has character. During lunch breaks, students enjoy some beer and sun in their spacious campus.

Appetizers. The AH2013 team treated us to a very nice banquet at a local restaurant. I’d like to say, the organizers have good taste!

Thad Starner is the keynote! He’s the lead for Google’s project glass. I remember two things from his presentation. One is, the 2 second rule. If users can access your interface in 2 seconds, then he will use it everyday. The other one is, push for your research topic, because no one else cares much for it but you!

Hiro markers. Look… their using ARToolkit!

The organizers. Thank you very much for an inspiring and memorable conference.

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