International Student Design Competition at UPA2010

After the inaugural Student Design Challenge at OZCHI last year, the first IxDA Global Student Competition at Interaction 11 last month, and of course the established Student Design Competition at CHI 2010, there is another chance for students interested in HCI and Interaction Design to participate in a global event:

The UPA Student Design Competition is going into its second year. This year’s design challenge is “Designing for a Sustainable World”. Student teams need to submit a short paper (6 pages maximum) describing their design solution in a first round. Advancing teams will attend the conference in Munich and have the chance to win up to US$1,250. Deadline for paper submissions is 29 March 2010.

iPhone remote controlled robot

This video shows a well-done iPhone interface for controlling the movements of a robot. I thought to post this here, since – as some might remember – we had an assignment for a couple of years, where the task was to come up with an alternative remote control interface for the Robosapien.

It was always interesting to see emerging products as inspiration for the redesign in many assignment submissions. Last time we run this assignment, many students came up with WII like interfaces. We actually dropped the assignment the year the iPhone was released, since we feared a majority of iPhone-like interfaces.

Bill Buxton: The Mad Dash Toward Touch Technology

A must-read article written by Bill Buxton for everyone who is interested in touch technology describes that touch is not the reason why products become successful. So keep in mind, that “God is in the details” and “Everything –  including touch – is best for something and worst for something else”.

So while executives and marketers all seem to be saying, “It has to have touch,” I am more inclined to say that anyone who describes a product as having a “touch interface” is likely unqualified to comment on the topic.

via The Mad Dash Toward Touch Technology – BusinessWeek.

10/GUI: reinventing desktop human-computer interaction

A very well-designed video explaining the history and problems of desktop interfaces and window managers (first part) and suggesting a new way for interacting with desktop computers using multitouch for input (second part). It’s a great video prototype with many detail considerations. And although there are some issues with it, it’s definitely inspirational for anyone thinking about the next human-computer interface. More information on

10/GUI from C. Miller on Vimeo.

24h Student Design Challenge at OZCHI’09

24logoThe 24h Student Design Challenge is part of this year’s OZCHI (the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group – SIGCHI) conference. It offers a great opportunity for students from around the world to participate in an international challenge about interaction design, and even win a travel scholarship to Melbourne, Australia for attending OZCHI.

In line with the conference theme “Design: Open 24/7” the challenge is organised as two separate 24 hour events:

The first 24-hour event takes place online, on 12-13 September 2009. The three top entries will be published in the official conference proceedings. The winning team will be awarded a travel scholarship for attending OZCHI in Melbourne, to (partly) cover travel, accommodation and/or conference registration.

The second 24-hour event will take place at the OZCHI conference, in Melbourne, on 23-24 September 2009. The top three entries from this round will earn a Certificate of Recognition and prizes sponsored by our industry partners.

Registration for the online challenge is now open at:

Layar: Augmented Reality Browser

Another augmented reality browser for mobile phones has entered the Android Market. Layar uses the built-in GPS and digital compass to detect your position and orientation and overlays the camera view with information from your neighborhood. In contrast to Wikitude, which uses general information from Google, Layar is currently only available in the Netherlands, showing information from specific content partners. A great feature is the little radar view, which visualizes found places around you.

Further plans include a roll-out in Germany, the UK and the United States this year and availability for other mobile phones with GPS and compass such as the iPhone 3GS.