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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Rosemary Wick Stevens <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 10:37:43 -0800
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Rosemary Wick Stevens <[log in to unmask]>
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The Only Good Computer is an Invisible Computer?

Virtual Workplaces Discussed at Conference on Computers and the Future

Palo Alto, California, USA -- Speakers from Xerox PARC, Silicon Graphics and Stanford University will discuss the impact of high technology on the workplace, at the upcoming CHI 97 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Their topics include the increasing "virtualization" of the workplace and the idea that computers will blend in to the workplace to the extent that they disappear.

In a talk entitled  _Working in a Place That Isn't There: The New HCI of Tasks, Work, and Technology_ Stuart Card, of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), will present his ideas on the changing reality of the workplace. He notes that "a funny thing has been happening to reality.  It seems to be disappearing, gradually replaced by a growing virtuality." Virtualization will have a large effect on the nature of future work, and Human-Computer Interaction research is central to this since virtuality is by its nature machine-mediated.

A second presentation on the topic of virtual workplaces, _The Design of Interaction_, by Professor Terry Winograd, of Stanford University, will focus on the shift away from a concern with controlling the machine, towards a focus on the space of interactions enabled by the virtuality that designers and users jointly create. He predicts that "this will lead us to devise new methods that integrate traditional usability considerations with the broader perspective of traditional design disciplines."

Finally, the workplace of the future will contain many computers, but they may not be visible as such. Bill Buxton, of Silicon Graphics, will urge us to reconsider basic assumptions when designing human-computer interfaces, and will show why we should "change the terminal of the system itself, and not just the look and feel that lies behind the glass of the conventional CRT. The moral of our story is that the only good computer is an invisible computer," he says. Buxton's presentation  is titled: _Out From Behind the Glass and the Outside-In Squeeze_.

The CHI conference features a full program of presentations, tutorials and vendor exhibits. Participants in the conference come from both academia and industry. This annual conference is the premier worldwide forum for the exchange of information on all aspects of how people interact with computers.  This year approximately 2,500 user interface designers, managers, researchers, designers, educators, artists, writers and students join to look into human-computer interaction from March 22-27, 1997 in Atlanta, GA.  CHI 97 is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)'s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI).  

The CHI conference is traditionally supported by industry organizations. The CHI 97 corporate sponsors are: Andersen Consulting, Apple Computer, AT&T, Bell South,  IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, NCR, NYNEX, Oracle, Philips, Rent-a-Computer, Sun Microsystems and Unisys.  

For more information, contact the CHI 97 Conference office at +1 410 263 5382, send e-mail to [log in to unmask] or look at the CHI 97 home page at: