Nov 17, 2012

Human Computer Interaction + Informal Science Education Conference (NUI News)

I recently learned of the HCI + ISE conference, funded by the National Science Foundation and organized by Ideum and Independent Exhibitions that will provide the groundwork for the future of the development and design of interactive computer-based science exhibits.
Science museums have a long history of interactivity, well suited to groups of "explorers", such as families or students visiting on a field trip.  

What is really exciting is that new interactive applications and technologies have the power to transform the way people learn and understand science in a collaborative and social way.  Innovations in the field of HCI - Human-Computer Interaction- such as multi-touch and gesture interaction, are  well-suited to meet the goals of science education for all, beyond the school doors and wordy textbooks. 

Below is a screen-shot of the conference website, a description about the conference, quoted from the site, and some related resources.

About the HCI+ISE Conference
"HCI technologies, such as motion capture, multitouch, augmented reality, RFID, and voice recognition are beginning to change the way computer-based science exhibits are designed and developed. Human Computer Interaction in Informal Science Education (HCI+ISE) is a first-of-its-kind gathering to explore and disseminate effective practices in developing a new generation of digital exhibits that are more intuitive, interactive, and social than their predecessors."
"The HCI+ISE Conference, to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico June 11-14 2013, will bring together 60 museum exhibit designers and developers, learning researchers, and technology industry professionals to share effective practices, and to explore both the enormous potential and possible pitfalls that these new technologies present for exhibit development in informal science education settings."
"HCI+ISE will focus on the practical considerations of implementing new HCI technologies in educational settings with an eye on the future. Along with a survey of how HCI is shaping the museum world, participants will be challenged to envision the museum experience a decade into future. The conference results will provide a concrete starting point for exhibit developers and informal science educators who are just beginning to investigate these emerging technologies and design challenges in creating these new types of exhibits."
"Since the mid-1980s informal educational venues have increasingly incorporated computer-based exhibits into their science communication offerings in an effort to keep pace with public expectations and make use of the expanding opportunities these technologies provide. The advent and popularity of once novel HCI technologies are becoming commonplace: the Wii and Microsoft Kinect now allow for motion capture video games, tablet PCs have multitouch interaction, and smart phones and other devices come standard with voice recognition. Yet many museums are still developing single-touch and trackball-driven, single-user computer kiosks."
"Science museums have a long history of championing hands-on, physical, and inquiry-based activities and exhibits. This vast experience has only just begun to be applied to interactive computer interfaces. Along with seasoned science exhibit developers, the Conference will draw upon individuals outside of ISE who will provide fresh insight into the technologies, design issues, and audience expectations that these visitor experiences present."
Involvement and Findings
"HCI+ISE will bring together a diverse group of practitioners and other professionals to discuss (and in some cases share and prototype) new design approaches utilizing emerging HCI technology. Please see our Apply page to learn how you can participate. Conference news and findings will be distributed through a variety of ISE and museum websites, including this one."
"We welcome your questions and comments about the HCI+ISE Conference."
Kathleen McLean of Independent Exhibitions
& Jim Spadaccini of Ideum
HCI+ISE Co-chairs
"Open Exhibits is a multitouch, multi-user tool kit that allows you to create custom interactive exhibits."
CML:  Creative Mark-up Language
GML: Gesture Mark-up Language

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