Sep 18, 2010

Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces: 2010 ACM Conference, Nov. 7-10, Saarbrucken, Germany. Wish I could go!

If you are new to this blog, you should know that I'm passionate about interactive tables and surfaces of all sizes!   Although this technology has been around for a while, it is a new concept to most people.  The researchers and practitioners involved in the upcoming 2010 Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference have been an important influence in the way people think about interacting with technology, and have made significant contributions to this emerging field over the past several years.   It hasn't been an easy road, given that most of us have minds brainwashed through years of forced keyboard-and-mouse interaction and traditional WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers) interfaces.

I first learned about the first Interactive Tabletops conference, held in 2006, in early 2007.  At the time, I was working on projects for my HCI and Ubiquitous Computing classes, trying to learn everything I could about natural user interaction, large touch-screen displays, tabletop computing, and multi-touch.   I was inspired by the interesting work going on in this field.  This was before the first iPhone was introduced, before Microsoft's multi-touch Surface was unveiled, and three years before Apple broke out with the iPad.

Many of the people involved with the 2010 Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference are (or have been) affiliated with the NUI group NUI stands for Natural User Interface, or Natural User Interaction - the NUI group is "a global research community focused on the open discovery of natural user interfaces."  I joined the NUI-group in 2007 when I was looking for more information about the nuts and bolts of multi-touch programming and systems, and have been encourage to see how things have evolved since then.

Members of another group, sparkon, are also participating in the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference.  Sparkon is an on-line community that includes people involved with  interactive technologies, including tabletop and surface computing. "On sparkon, you'll find projects demonstrating the latest interactive techniques, applications, software frameworks, case studies, and blog articles relating to creative and emergent technology."  (I'm also a member of Sparkon.)

Here's the information from the conference website:

ACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, Saarbrücken, Germany:  7-10 November, 2010
"ITS 2010 is a premier venue for presenting research in the design and use of new and emerging tabletop and interactive surface technologies. As a young community, we embrace the growth of the discipline in a wide variety of areas, including innovations in ITS hardware, software, interaction design, and studies expanding our understanding of design considerations of ITS technologies and of their applications in modern society. ITS 2010 will bring together top researchers and practitioners who are interested in both the technical and human aspects of interactive tabletop and surface technologies. It is our hope that we will be able to achieve increased synergy of approaches between the disciplines engaged in the research in the area of interactive tabletops and surfaces, Design, HCI, UbiComp, Psychology, MobileHCI and other related fields. More directly, we intend to encourage immediate interdisciplinary collaboration on future research topics. Young scholars and Ph.D. students are especially encouraged to submit papers and participate in the doctoral colloquium."

Johannes Schöning, DFKI GmbH
Antonio Krüger, DFKI GmbH
Conference General Chairs

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  W. Bradford Paley

"Bio: W. Bradford Paley uses computers to create visual displays with the goal of making readable, clear, and engaging expressions of complex data. He did his first computer graphics in 1973, founded Digital Image Design Incorporated in 1982, and started doing financial & statistical data visualization in 1986. He has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art; he created; he is in the ARTPORT collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art; has received multiple grants and awards for both art and design, and his designs are at work every day in the hands of brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. He is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, and is director of Information Esthetics: a fledgling interdisciplinary group exploring the creation and interpretation of data representations that are both readable and esthetically satisfying."


  • Applications
  • Gesture-based interfaces
  • Multi-modal interfaces
  • Tangible interfaces
  • Novel interaction techniques
  • Data handling/exchange on large interactive surfaces
  • Data presentation on large interactive surfaces
  • User-interface technology
  • Computer supported collaborative systems
  • Middleware and network support
  • Augmented reality
  • Social protocols
  • Information visualizations
  • Interactive surface hardware, including sensing and input technologies with novel capabilities
  • Human-centered design & methodologies

Previous Conferences

From the conference website -Links to the conference sponsors:

We appreciate the generous support of the following sponsors, without whom this conference would not be possible. Click on the logos to learn more about our generous supporters, and let us know if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.







Academic Sponsors:


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