Things we do

Collocated Interactions

"OK Google is confusing all of my Google phones, tablets & Home devices." [link]

Critics are urging for "Reclaiming Conversation." [link]

By now we should have been basking in the glory of ubiquitous computing, but we have come to find problems abound. If following a positivist approach, computing technologies are built functional—by design; but when intertwined with social processes, they come to create new challenges in human-computer interaction.

Today's face-to-face interactions are frequently filled with computing technologies, either supporting or interrupting the work at hand. We study these collocated interactions, in work or play, inside or on the go. As devices grow and become more and more "intelligent" and capable, they often fragment the very fabric of social interactions in which they reside. Our research examines how to build computing technologies to draw on complementary affordances of a device ecology.

Digital Interlocutors

Digital avatars or embodied conversational agents are computer-modeled entities engaged in human-computer interaction. The role of these digital interlocutors has recently moved beyond computer games, from telehealth, personal assistants to social robotics. Despite this increasing prevalence of their use in day-to-day life, we know little about how these personalized interactions support or disrupt ongoing activity. We study the emotional and social implications of communication between people and digital interlocutors and their impact on human-computer interactions.

Designing for Older Adults

Almost 50% of adults aged 65+ owned a smartphone in the US in 2016.

As mobile and household technologies proliferate, designing for the aging population necessitates. But current human-computer interaction research mostly targets children, young adults, or adults when designing new technologies. Older adults are differently abled; building computing solutions accessible to them requires understanding unique design requirements, such as their physical and cognitive constraints. Our research examines how to design mobile and smart home technologies accessible to older adults.