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Steve Seow <[log in to unmask]>
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Steve Seow <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 23 Sep 2008 10:28:28 -0700
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Multitouch and Surface Computing Workshop

Natural user interfaces (NUI) such as multitouch and surface computing are positioned as the next major evolution in computing and user interfaces. Just graphical user interfaces (GUI) brought unprecedented interaction capabilities to their command-line predecessors, we believe multitouch and surface computing will spawn novel and exciting interaction experiences and computing capabilities. In the recent years, many groups, both in industry and academia, have reflected on our experiences in human-computer interaction (HCI) over the last two decades.  The goal to leverage time-tested principles to the multitouch experience, and to look at current multitouch technologies and experiences to formulate new paradigms that capture the essence and experience of touch interaction, while looking forward to investigate potential usability and design obstacles in optimizing the emerging surface computing experience. This workshop aims to consolidate the retrospective assessment of current practice, the current evaluation of what we are learning, and a prospective description of what remains to be explored in this burgeoning field, such as technical and non- technical challenges, interaction design, applications, and user studies.


This workshop is intended for researchers and practitioners in the broad fields of multitouch, surface computing, or a closely-related form of natural user interfaces. In this workshop, we define surface computing as any implementation of touch-enabled interactive displays implemented in a variety of orientations, sizes, and angles.  This includes a range of technologies, as well as a range of professions, such as academic research, industry research, ethnography, design, and product development. As an example, the organizers of this workshop work with various forms of multitouch technologies including, but not limited to, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft TouchWall, and CityWall.


The workshop  Multitouch and Surface Computing - invites position papers that crystallize our knowledge on the topic. Each submission should address one or more of the questions in the following themes:

A. Retrospective

Our experiences over the years that can be generalized to multitouch and surface computing:

         Interface metaphors - what interface metaphors are applicable

         Widgets - which widgets can be adopted/used and how can they be used

         Ergonomic principles - what ergonomic principles we can adopt for vertical and horizontal interactive screens?

B. Current

Recent research knowledge specifically directed to multitouch and surface computing:

         Touch input -designing the optimal input considering fingers and hands.

         Gestures - what gestures can be used

         Combining modalities and tangible interaction

         Usability - usability of multitouch application accounting for cognitive and ergonomic aspects

         Appropriation - how are multitouch screens used in different settings for social/organizational issues?

         Experimental Evaluation: What methods, tasks, and human performance measures are suitable for    evaluating multitouch and surface computing systems?

C. Prospective

Obstacles and challenges to understanding and advancing the field:

         How to design for and supported collocated group interaction?

         What current application areas should be targeted?

         What new applications are made possible by multitouch and surface computing?


You are invited to submit a four-page position statement using the CHI Publication Format before October 23, 2008. The submission should cover: history and motivation for the current work, a description of the work,  results and discussion, finally conclusions, next steps and long term implications. If your submission does not fit this framework please contact the organizers.

These should be submitted to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. Notification of acceptance will be sent out on or before November 28, 2008. At least one author of each successful paper will be required to attend the one-day workshop which will be held during CHI 2009 in Boston, MA. More information at


One of the goals of this workshop is to produce an edited book on the topics related to multitouch and surface computing. Please find more information at the workshop website or email us.


Steven C. Seow, Ph.D. Microsoft Surface, US

Dennis Wixon, Ph.D. Microsoft Surface, US

Scott MacKenzie, Ph.D. York University, Canada

Giulio Jacucci, Ph.D. Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, Finland

Ann Morrison Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, Finland

Andy Wilson, Ph.D. Microsoft Research, US

Please email [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> for more information.

Steve Seow

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