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HCI International News, Number 58, March 2013



HCII 2013: Presentation for late breaking news

If you would like to present the latest results of your work to an international audience of about 2,000 from more than 70 countries, you still have the opportunity to do so. You can submit a proposal for a poster presentation (an abstract of 300 words) through the CMS. If your proposal is accepted, you will need to submit the camera-ready version of your extended poster abstract and register for the Conference by 12 April 2013.
For more information, please visit: http://www.hcii2013.org/submissions

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HCII 2013: Registration

Do not miss the opportunity to take part at the worldwide renowned international forum for the dissemination and exchange of up-to-date scientific information on theoretical, generic and applied areas of HCI.
For more information about registration, including information about special offers, please visit: www.hcii2013.org/registration

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HCII 2013: Accommodation

The Mirage, located on Las Vegas Strip, is recommended as the main hotel of the Conference. Many of the guest rooms offered are available with breathtaking views of the tropical pool, majestic mountains or Las Vegas Strip. For more information about accommodation, please visit the Conference website.

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HCII 2013: Exhibition

The HCI International Conference is an ideal opportunity to exhibit your products and services to an international audience of about 2,000 researchers, academics, professionals and users in the field of HCI. Conference participants have a unique opportunity to explore state-of-the-art HCI technology and interact with representatives of manufacturers, vendors, publishers, and potential employers. For more information about the HCII 2013 Exhibition, please visit the Conference website. The list of Exhibitors so far includes:

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HCII2013: Sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship in the context of HCI International 2013 is an ideal opportunity to expose your organization to an international audience of about 2,000 researchers, professionals and users in the field of HCI. Sponsors will also have the opportunity to exhibit, free of charge, their products or services through the Conference Exhibition.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Conference website

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Article: "Natural interaction through gesture recognition and head and body tracking"

By: Constantine Stephanidis, Greece
General Chair, HCI International 2013

The pervasiveness of interaction in intelligent environments requires new interaction concepts that extend beyond the current user interfaces, which are based on the desktop and the menus. Natural interaction refers to people interacting with technology just like they are used to interact with the real world in everyday life, through gestures, expressions, movements, etc., and discovering the world by looking around and manipulating physical objects. Typical examples are input techniques such as touch, gestures, head and body position tracking and manipulation of physical objects, which seamlessly integrate the physical and digital worlds and support the direct engagement of the user with the environment. Progress in computer vision approaches largely contributes to the provision of natural interaction in intelligent environments, making available, amongst other things, techniques for gesture recognition and head and body tracking.

Gestures are a powerful feature of human expression, either alone or as a means for augmenting spoken language.
There are various approaches to gesture recognition, employing a variety of imaging and tracking devices or gadgets. Wearable devices are an unobtrusive solution to gesture based interaction, functioning not only as an output but also as an input device. An alternative means for gesture recognition is using accelerometer-based information from portable devices that users regularly carry with them, such as smartphones. Finally, recent research efforts study the issue of gesture recognition with the use of computer vision and depth cameras (e.g. Microsoft Kinect, Asus Xtion Pro), aiming to further enhance natural interaction by allowing users to interact with a system even with their bare hands. Despite the high potential of gesture-based interaction and its wide acceptance, several challenges arise. An important challenge is that gestures are unconstrained and they are apt to be performed in an ambiguous manner. Furthermore, since gesture-based systems lack standardization, each system can make its own assumptions regarding the expected user input. However, as gestural interfaces mature, some gestures have become "standard" and are rather easy for users to discover. Additionally, an issue to consider is that gesture-based interaction should not be used as a panacea, it should rather be appropriate with the overall interaction context. For example, gesture-based interaction should be avoided when heavy data input is required or gestures are not socially appropriate in context. Another important concern regarding the use of gestures as an interaction medium is that of cultural differences and the various meanings or connotations a specific gesture bears in different cultures. Last but not least, a point of caution refers to the interactions of people with disabilities and their facilitation by gesture-based systems.

The role of head and body postures and movements is fundamental in the context of a human-to-human conversation; therefore, they could not be absent in the context of a user's dialogue with intelligent environments supporting natural interaction. Tracking of head and body movements can be achieved either by a wearable device or through vision technologies. Motion tracking technologies can be used for a variety of purposes, including view control, navigation, object selection or manipulation, instrument tracking and avatar animation, deriving pose estimates from electrical measurements of mechanical, inertial, acoustic, magnetic, optical, and radio frequency sensors. Recent technological advances have made head and body an ordinary (or at least not a sci-fi) interaction medium. Their role is crucial in providing contextual information, thus allowing interactive and smart environments to better attend to their users' needs and preferences. For example, an intelligent car may be able to monitor the driver's attention and act appropriately, while a discussion with a robot might become more engaging if the user's focus of interest can be taken into account. Furthermore, interaction using the head and/or the body can be helpful in situations of disabled or temporarily disabled users.

Further advances in tracking technologies are expected to allow for more natural interactions, posing however novel challenges under an HCI perspective. In this context, it is important to ensure that already established design guidelines (such as recognition rather than recall, or user control and freedom) will not be neglected in the name of the excitement and thrill that these new interactive environments promise.

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Article: "Smart Appliances"

By: Margherita Antona, Greece
Program Co-Chair, UAHCI 2013 Conference

The concept of "The Disappearing Computer" has been around for more than two decades, however nowadays the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur as major manufacturers introduce the next generation of home appliances. These are the same appliances that people have been using for decades, however, today they integrate "smart" features that aim to simplify and automate daily activities. Every appliance is no longer a "simple" device that performs certain tasks, but rather an interconnected technologically-enhanced peer that can interact, share information or even control other appliances.

The list of the currently available smart features is limited, yet indicative of the features to come: intelligent refrigerators can help families stay organized in the kitchen, smart ovens can adjust cooking properties depending on the recipe, smart sensorial networks can automate environmental monitoring and control (lighting conditions, HVAC, plant tending, etc.), while home security is improved through sophisticated surveillance systems. But most importantly, these appliances can be easily monitored and controlled through a smartphone either when sitting right next to one using NFC proximity sensors or when being thousands of miles away using the Internet.

This year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) has featured a wealth of commercially available smart appliances. The era of technological convergence is approaching fast and holds great potentials, including new ways to improve the daily life of user groups like the elderly or people with disabilities.

For further information:

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Recent News and Articles

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Upcoming Conferences and Events

March 2013

April 2013

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International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (IJHCI)
"Does Touch Matter?: The Effects of Haptic Visualization on Human Performance, Behavior and Perception."

  • Letter of Intention (< 100 words): Now
  • Manuscript Submission Due: May 31, 2013

Please direct any inquiries, including the suitability of the work, to the Special Issue Guest Editors: Chang S. Nam (csnam@ncsu.edu), North Carolina State University, USA; Sangwoo Bahn (panlot@gmail.com), North Carolina State University, USA; Paul Richard (paul.richard@univ-angers.fr), Université Angers, France; Takehiko Yamaguchi (yamaguchi.takehiko@gmail.com), Université Angers, France.

May 13 - 15, 2013: W4A 2013, Web Accessibility Challenge - Second Call for Submissions (#w4a13), The Sixth Web Accessibility Challenge in conjunction with the W4A 2013 Conference will take place at the WWW 2013 conference, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

May 20 - 24, 2013: CoGames 2013, International Workshop on Collaboration and Gaming in CTS 2013, San Diego, California, USA

July 21 - 26, 2013: COLLA 2013, The Third International Conference on Advanced Collaborative Networks, Systems and Applications, Nice, France

October 23-25, 2013: GaLA 2013, Games and Learning Alliance Conference, At Dassault Systemes, Paris

October 27 - November 1, 2013: CENTRIC 2013, The Sixth International Conference on Advances in Human-oriented and Personalized Mechanisms, Technologies, and Services, - Venice, Italy

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About HCI International NEWS

The HCI International NEWS is a newsletter that contains information about the HCI International 2013 Conference, book reviews, news from the field of HCI, as well as links to interesting articles and conferences. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to make a contribution, please contact the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem. The opinions that are expressed in this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not represent any institution or company.

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How to Contribute

We welcome your contribution to the HCI International News. Please send to us interesting news, short articles, interesting websites, etc. We will consider your comments and contributions for upcoming issues. Please send your contribution to the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem.
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