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IBM Almaden Research Center
New Paradigms in Using Computers 2005

July 11, 2005 - The future of portable computing

Here is information on the confirmed speakers and their talks for NPUC 2005.

Shumin Zhai (IBM Almaden)
High-performance Mobile Device Interfaces

Technology is advancing to an exciting future of mobile devices such as smart phones and truly commoditized electronic tablets being as powerful as today's desktop computers. Such a future raises many difficult user interface challenges to the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research field. How can a user efficiently interact with these devices without the traditional mouse and keyboard? In this talk I will review various non-traditional text and command input methods and present our work in this area: SHARK shorthand and Gesture Shortcuts. Two aspects motivate our design: human sensitivity and dexterity to recognize, memorize, and draw patterns, and the raw processing power and memory capacity of modern electronics. We use a graphical stylus keyboard as a bridge and a training wheel towards gesturing a form of fast shorthand, hence accommodating both ease of use for beginners and eventual high performance. A demo and software download of the work are available at

Shumin Zhais Picture


Shumin Zhai is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Research - Almaden. His work spans from basic research, invention and evaluation of advanced interfaces, to product innovation and development. He has published over 80 papers on computer input control devices, 3D interfaces, laws and models of action, eye-tracking based multi-modal interaction, and the research and development of the IBM Scrollpoint Mouse. He is on IBM's sixth invention plateau and holds numerous patents. He is on the editorial boards of four HCI journals and served as papers co-chair for CHI 2005. He has been a visiting professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Linköping University in Sweden, University Paris-Sud in France, Tsinghua University in China and taught graduate classes at Stanford and other universities. He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Toronto.

Shumin's URL:

Jeff Pierce (Georgia Tech)
From Personal Computers to Personal Information Environments

While today's users work with a growing number and variety of computational devices (desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, PDAs, cellphones, etc.), adherence to the model of working with a single, personal computer has led to very little support for coordinating activities across those devices. In fact, most devices are still completely unaware that a user might own other devices. As users shift from working with a personal computer to working within a personal information environment, we need to make it easier for them to coordinate their activities across their personal devices as well as effectively leverage devices in the local environment.

Jeff Pierce Picture


Dr. Jeff Pierce is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, where he conducts research on next-generation user interfaces and is a member of the Graphics, Visualization, and Usability (GVU) Center. Dr. Pierce leads the Personal Information Environments (PIE) research group, which explores methods of allowing users to more easily and effectively coordinate activities across multiple devices, and co-directs the Adaptive Personalized Information Environments (APIE) lab with Dr. Charles Isbell.

Jeff's URL:

Scott Klemmer (Stanford)
Interaction Techniques and Design Trials for Embodied Interaction

Physical media and electronic media have powerful--but distinct--sets of affordances. Today, they co-exist like ships passing in the night: proximate but unaware of each other. Contemporary studios, offices, and laboratories are filled with both physical and electronic artifacts, but the two live apart, and the infrastructures for moving between the media representations (scanning and printing) are heavyweight and cumbersome, at odds with the freewheeling, organic nature of creative work. I will introduce our research over the past six years into user interfaces that bind physical and electronic representations of artifacts for integrated interaction: manipulation in one medium effects a corresponding change in the artifact's dual. I will present our work on integrated interaction techniques based on fieldwork with knowledge workers in multiple professions: designers, historians, biologists, and engineers. From this fieldwork, we have designed and evaluated integrated interfaces from (note)books to walls. I will discuss our research results on interaction techniques for working in this interface paradigm, the infrastructures that afford them, and design tools that can be used to better create integrated interfaces.

Scott Klemmer Picture


Scott Klemmer is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he co-directs the Human-Computer Interaction Group. He received a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown University in 1999, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2001 and 2004 respectively. His research addresses interaction techniques and design tools for creating a user experience of integrated bits and atoms. Several of his (along with many colleagues) research systems have had commercial impact: his speech design tool has been used and extended by dozens of companies; a system for vision-based capture of walls inspired current commercial product features; and the handheld augmentation of books fueled advanced development in industry.

Scott's URL:

Aaron Marcus (Amanda)
It's all a Matter of Time: Are Wrist-Tops the Ubiquitous Platform of the Future?

IBM ported Linux to a wrist-tops several years ago and has published designs for a wrist-top operating environment. Microsoft introduced its Smart Watch about two years ago. Samsung introduced a wrist-phone for Korea in 1999-2000. Since 2000, AM+A has been designing user-interface concept designs for prototype wrist-top devices. The challenges of these "babyfaces" are extreme: limited size, color, resolution, etc.. In addition, the challenge of providing usable, useful, and appealing content remains to be solved. Moreover, wrist-top time pieces and associated devices, from delicate, dainty, industrial, to daring in their designs, can be found world-wide in many different cultures and contexts. The user-experience design challenges are daunting, but solvable. Will their solution pave the way for making wristtops the first truly ubiquitous computing platform? Time will tell.

Aaron Marcus Picture


Aaron is the founder and President of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A). A graduate in physics from Princeton University and in graphic design from Yale University, in 1967 he became the world's first graphic designer to be involved fulltime in computer graphics. In the 1970s he programmed a prototype desktop publishing page layout application for the Picturephone (tm) at AT&T Bell Labs, programmed virtual reality spaces while a faculty member at Princeton University, and directed an international team of visual communicatiors as a Research Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. In the early 1980s he was a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, founded AM+A, and began research as a Co-Principal Investigator of a project funded by the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 1992, he received the National Computer Graphics Association's annual award for contributions to industry. He was the keynote speaker for ACM/SIGGRAPH-80, and the organizer and chair of the opening plenary panel for ACM/SIGCHI-99.

During the past decade, AM+A helped design the user interface for the first versions of AOL, Sabre's Travelocity, Motorola's Advance smart-car navigator, and Microsoft's In 2000, AM+A helped Samsung gain its place second behind Nokia in mobile phones in North America by designing over 100 advanced user-interface concepts for merged phone/PDA devices. More recently, AM+A has helped Nokia envision future user-interface concepts.

Mr. Marcus has written over 200 articles and five books, including (with Ron Baecker) Human Factors and Typography for More Readable Programs (1990), Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces (1992), and The Cross-GUI Handbook for Multiplatform User Interface Design (1994) all published by Addison-Wesley. He contributed chapters/case studies to five handbooks of user-interface design, information appliances, and culture. For the last decade, Mr. Marcus has turned his attention to the Web and wireless, mobile devices, helping the industry to learn about good user-interface and information-visualization design, providing guidelines for globalization/localization, and focusing on challenges of "baby faces" (small displays for consumer information appliances) of ubiquitous devices and cross-cultural communication. Mr. Marcus has published, lectured, tutored, and consulted internationally for more than 30 years and has been an invited keynote/plenary speaker at conferences of ACM/SIGCHI, ACMSIGGRAPH, and the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society, as well as conferences internationally. He is a visionary thinker, designer, and writer, well-respected in international professional communities, with connections throughout the Web, user interface, human factors, graphic design, and publishing industries.

Aaron's URL:

Dave Nagel (Ascona Group)
'..but so few pockets...'

The steady march of Moore's Law, matched by similar rates of improvement in storage (both silicon and magnetic), radios, wireless networks, and critical components such as batteries and antennas, have enabled a new generation of powerful handheld networked digital products. Smart cell phones and the ubiquitous iPod represent the latest in a steady march of innovation. The potential of this category of products to penetrate global markets is unparalleled in the history of computing; and potentially in the history of technology.

Product cycles -- and even product category cycles -- have become measurable in months, not years. This makes it even more important to identify those product characteristics that will ensure successful business models. And the steady emergence of new technologies, such as flexible displays, promise the designer of handhelds more degrees of freedom than ever before.

This talk will address making the critical design decisions that are important precursors to the development of products that meet market needs and desires over the coming decade of small smart products.

Dave Nagel Picture


David Nagel was most recently president and chief executive officer of PalmSource, Inc., the leading provider of operating system software platforms for smart mobile devices. Prior to PalmSource, Nagel was the chief technology officer at AT&T and president of AT&T Labs. Before joining AT&T, Nagel was senior vice president at Apple Computer, where he headed the advanced technology group and then led the worldwide research and development group, responsible for all Macintosh hardware and software products.

Prior to Apple, Nagel had a long career at NASA’s Ames Research Center where he was head of human factors research. He is the Co-Author and Editor (with Earl Wiener) of the influential book Aviation Human Factors, published by Academic Press. Nagel has also authored or co-authored a number of publications in the general area of applied psychology and the interaction of humans with complex systems. Nagel has served on a number of national and international advisory committees, among them President Clinton's first President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, where he served for five years. Nagel is a member of the board of directors of Liberate Technologies, Inc., Nuance, Inc. and Tessera, Inc. and serves on the Boards of Trustees of the UCLA Foundation, the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at University of California, Berkeley and the SETI Institute. He holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA.

Ian Smith (Intel)
Issues in social mobile computing

What is social mobile computing? This is a talk in two parts. In the first part, I'll outline what Intel Research Seattle is doing in the area of Social Mobile Computing. This is a new research area, focused on interactions between people that occur outside the traditional "work" settings and where the communications are conducted via mobile devices. In the second part of the talk I'll go walk through the mobile interaction design challenges of one project we are working on and--with any luck--get the audience to solve some our problems for us! The domain of this project is to allow people to more easily "meet-up" or "rendezvous."

Ian Smith Picture


Ian Smith is a senior researcher at the Intel Research Seattle lab in Seattle, Washington. His work focuses on having a big bowl of ubicomp technology, social science, and some software engineering. Stir vigorously and don't forget to drizzle on some privacy. He previously stirred the pot at the Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, California. He was granted a Ph.D. and a chef's hat from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1998.


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