ISS 2017 is looking forward to featuring keynotes from two distinguished speakers.

Karon MacLean

Taking Haptic Design from Research to Practice

Opening Keynote


Today’s advances in tactile sensing, wearable, situated and context-aware computing and robotics are spurring new ideas about how to configure touch-centered interactions in terms of roles and utility, which in turn expose new technical and social design questions. But while haptic actuation and sensing technology is improving, incorporating them into a real-world design process still brings many challenges. In this talk I’ll focus on how my group has approached research both into viable roles and design languages for physical communication, and of what is needed to support their design.

I’ll explore this in the context of several examples, such as translating users’ cognitive frameworks for processing tactile signals into guidelines and tools to create learnable message vocabularies; exploiting low-cost, stretchy touch sensors and machine learning touch recognition to raise the ‘emotional intelligence’ of social human-robot interaction through bidirectional communication; and how such sensing and simple outputs can transform other interactions that are situated in the physical world rather than on a traditional computing device.


Karon MacLean is a Professor in Computer Science at UBC, with degrees in Biology and Mechanical Engineering (BSc, Stanford; M.Sc. / Ph.D, MIT) and industry experience in robotics and interaction design. She leads UBC’s Designing for People interdisciplinary research cluster and CREATE graduate training program, and is Special Advisor, Knowledge Mobilization to the Faculty of Science. Her research interests are in the design of situated haptic and multimodal interfaces, and affective, therapeutic human-robotic interaction.

Geraldine Fitzpatrick

Understanding interactive surfaces and spaces in everyday life

Closing Keynote


Interactive Surfaces and Spaces increasingly pervade our everyday life, appearing in various sizes, shapes, and application contexts, offering a rich variety of ways to interact”. Actually getting technologies used in everyday life though requires sensitivities to a range of other factors beyond the technology itself. Drawing on years of research in CSCW and related areas, this talk will explore how playing at the intersection of social and computing sciences can inform how we conceptualise, design and deploy new ISS technologies in everyday life. The discussions will touch on the importance of social practices through which technologies come to be incorporated into everyday life, the need to be critically reflective about the values entailed in our technology designs, and the potential of ‘good’ technologies to contribute to health, well being and human flourishing.


Geraldine Fitzpatrick is Professor of Technology Design and Assessment and heads the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology and the Human Computer Interaction Group at TU Wien. She is also an ACM Distinguished Scientist. Previously, she was Director of the Interact Lab at the University of Sussex, User Experience consultant at Sapient London, and Senior Researcher at the Center for Online Health/DSTC in Australia. Her research is at the intersection of social and computer sciences to support social interaction using mobile, tangible and sensor-based technologies in everyday contexts, with a particular interest in supporting collaboration, health and well-being, social and emotional skills learning, community building and active engagement for older people. She has a published book and over 180 refereed journal and conference publications in diverse areas such as HCI, CSCW, health informatics, pervasive computing. She sits on various advisory boards, and serves in many editorial roles, including associate editor of the CSCW journal, and program committee/chair in various CSCW/CHI/health related international conferences.