Keynote Address

The New Face of the User Interface

The user interface (UI) is the fundamental way in which humans interact with the digital world. However, despite its importance, we have seen few innovations in this domain since the birth of the mouse nearly half a century ago. In this talk I will highlight major UI disruptions and, by drawing on a number of trends (and with the help of the audience), we will uncover exciting new disruptions that are emerging. These disruptions are morphing the user interface into something far more technically advanced embracing new sensing technologies, state of the art computer vision and graphics algorithms, and new types of displays.

I will then demonstrate the work within my group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, which is motivated by inventing new type of user interface technologies that radically shift the way that we interact with computing technology. Our group is a Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) group with a 'twist': rather than solely focusing on the study and evaluation of interactive systems and techniques, we embrace a more technology-focused approach, which is as much about building the underlying technologies and systems as it is about studying their use.

This modern and technically inspired approach to HCI is still very much multi-disciplinary in nature, but across subfields in computer science and engineering. All this makes it an incredibly rewarding time to be a researcher in the HCI field: you get to play with the newest technologies, such as exotic cameras, displays and sensing hardware; readily embrace approaches outside of your discipline (e.g. within computer vision, machine learning, signal processing, or computer graphics); and just perhaps, if you are really lucky, invent technologies that will impact users in deep ways.

Professor Shahram Izadi

Professor Shahram Izadi is a senior research scientist within Microsoft Research Cambridge. He leads the Interactive 3D Technologies (I3D) group, and holds a visiting professorship in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics (VECG) group at University College London (UCL). He describes his work as: mashing together exotic sensing and display hardware with signal processing, vision and graphics algorithms to create new interactive systems, which enable users to experiences computing in magical ways. His group has had many notable projects and publications to date including: KinectFusion; KinEtre; Vermeer; HoloDesk; Mouse 2.0; SurfacePhysics; SecondLight; and ThinSight. Shahram has been at Microsoft Research since 2005 and prior to that spent time at Xerox PARC. He received a TR35 award in 2009 and was nominated one of the Microsoft Next in 2012. He lives in Cambridge, UK, with his wife and daughter.