Human-Computer Interaction - Say What?

3 July 2017

Domenico Mazza
Domenico Mazza

Current PhD student Domenico Mazza shares his insights on a field dedicated to developing and understanding how humans interact with computers.

What is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)? Domenico shares that it’s the field dedicated to understanding how computer interactions should look, feel and come to life —it’s inspired all the ideas behind how you use the technology you rely on today, like phones, watches and laptops and soon virtual reality. Researchers in HCI battle it out to determine what the technology you use should look like in the future, and push the industry to make it happen.

Within the Faculty, the sensiLab and Immersive Analytics team are working to investigate how new interaction and display technologies can be used to support analytical reasoning and decision making and allow users to immerse themselves in their data and designs.

Domenico is a visual designer investigating how the digital interfaces we utilise leverage and affect our memory of these interactions. The aim of the research is to explore how we can optimally leverage and affect these memories for smoother interaction. Domenico is keenly interested in how mixed-reality technology in the future could be used to allow people to express themselves more freely, outside of the screen and in the world. Having recently attended the CHI Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI or CHI) to present this work, Domenico along with peers from a broad range of fields covering media artists, interaction designers, cognitive psychologists and computer scientists explored new innovations.

So many projects were demonstrated which excitedly only scratch the surface of what is to come. From display technology that recognises more than one person’s set of hands at once — enabling more than one person to interact with a touchscreen. To an experiment looking to help people with physical rehabilitation exercises through on-body sensors that recognise what position various parts of the body are in and encouraging the completion exercises by playing a musical harmony to the movement. Domenico shares that maybe one day we will be playing Twister on large touch screens and a computer can suggest who should stretch their muscles a bit more — the possibilities are endless! After hearing the research shared at this conference, Domenico is hopeful that we will break out of the screen in the not too distant future. If you think your phone is great, just wait and see what’s next!

Within the Faculty, Immersive Analytics is an exciting research initiative that builds on technologies such as large touch surfaces, immersive virtual reality environments, virtual and augmented reality technologies.

If you are interested in finding out more about what we’re working - check out the sensiLab and Immersive Analytics sites.


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