The fourth ACM SIGCHI Symposium on

Engineering Interactive Computing Systems

IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark, June 25–28, 2012

Keynote Speaker

The EICS program committee is pleased to welcome our distinguished keynote speakers, Robert Jacob, and Jakob Bardram.

Robert Jacob

Engineering Next Generation Interfaces — Past and Future

Tools, abstractions, models, and specification techniques for engineering new generations of interactive systems have tended to follow the development of such systems by about half a generation. In each case, hackers first start experimenting with new types of systems. Then the model developers and tool builders enter as requirements and paradigms solidify. And ultimately the tools and abstractions become so widely accepted and commonplace that they are no longer an open research area. This has happened with conventional graphical user interfaces, and it continues through new generations of interaction styles. It poses a continuing challenge to our community to focus ahead on the tools and techniques needed for each new emerging future interaction style.

I will discuss research projects on specifying previous and current genres of “next generation” user interfaces and how each has been matched to its target domain and has followed this pattern. I will also describe a new genre of adaptive, lightweight brain-computer interfaces as an example of the kinds of next generation interfaces that I see emerging. I offer it as a challenge to our community – to think about tools and techniques for engineering a new generation of interfaces of this sort.

About Robert Jacob


Robert Jacob is a Professor of Computer Science at Tufts University, where his research interests are new interaction modes and techniques and user interface software; his current work focuses on adaptive brain-computer interfaces. He was also a visiting professor at the Universite Paris-Sud and at the MIT Media Laboratory. Before coming to Tufts, he was in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the Naval Research Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and he is a member of the editorial board of Human-Computer Interaction and the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. He was Papers Co-Chair of the CHI 2001 and CADUI 2004 conferences, Co-Chair of UIST 2007 and TEI 2010, and Vice-President of ACM SIGCHI. He was elected to the ACM CHI Academy in 2007, an honorary group of the principal leaders of the field of HCI, whose efforts have shaped the discipline and industry, and have led research and innovation in human-computer interaction.

Jakob Bardram

Distributed Interaction

The personal computer as used by most people still – to a large degree – follows an interaction and technological design dating back to Allan Kay’s Dynabook and the Xerox Star. This implies that interaction is confined to a single device with a single keyboard/mouse/display hardware configuration sitting on a desk, and personal rather than collaborative work is in focus.

The challenges of “moving the computer beyond the desktop” are being addressed within different research fields. For example, Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) investigates how computing can be embedded in everyday life; Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) researches collaborative interaction; and many researchers in the CHI and EICS community explores basic infrastructure and technologies for handling multiple devices and displays in e.g. smart room setups.

In this talk, I will present our approach to these challenges. Specifically, I will introduce the term of “distributed interaction”, which is a research agenda focusing on researching theory, conceptual frameworks, interaction design, user interfaces, and infrastructure that allow interaction with computers to be distributed along three dimension:

  1. Devices – computers should not be viewed as single devices but as (inter)networked devices. Hence, interaction is not confined to one device, but should encompass multiple devices.
  2. Space – computers are distributed in space and time, and are not confined to one setting. This includes mobility, but more importantly that devices are to be found in all sorts of odd settings where they need to adapt to, and collaborate with, their surroundings, including other devices, people, interaction devices, etc.
  3. People – computers are to a large degree the primary way of collaboration in distributed organizations. Hence, a lot has changed since the personal computer was designed for small office collaboration and there is a need for incorporating support for global interaction as a fundamental mechanism in the computing platforms.

I will present our current approach for supporting distributed interaction called “activity-based computing” (ABC). Based on a strong theoretical foothold in Activity Theory, ABC provides a conceptual framework, interaction design, user interface, and a distributed programming and runtime infrastructure for distributed interaction. I will present ABC and show how it has been applied in building support for clinical work in hospitals and for smart space technology.

About Jakob Bardram


Jakob E. Bardram is a professor at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU) and runs the Pervasive Interaction Technology (PIT) Laboratory. Prior to this position, he was an associate professor at the Computer Science Department, University of Aarhus and the co-founder and first manager of the Danish Centre for Pervasive Healthcare. His research interests are Pervasive/Ubiquitous Computer Systems, Object Oriented Software Architecture, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW); and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The main application areas of this research is within healthcare, biology, and global collaboration.

In the summer of 2006 he co-founded the company Cetrea A/S, which specialize in the development of pervasive computing technology for hospitals. He also helped found CLC Bio A/S which develops bioinformatics software. Dr. Bardram has previously held positions as project manager and IT architect at IBM, and he has been an industrial research fellow at CSC, where he worked with software architectures for cooperative systems in hospitals.

Dr. Bardram received his PhD in computer science in 1998 from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Since returning to academia in 2001, he has been involved in several R&D Projects with industry. He has coedited a book on Pervasive Healthcare and has co-edited a special issue of Pervasive Healthcare in the IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine. Dr. Bardram is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was the conference co-chair and organizer of the ACM UBICOMP 2010 conference in Copenhagen and was the Papers and Notes co-chair for the ACM CSCW 2011 conference. He has served on numerous program and organizing committees for both ACM and IEEE conferences.