Sunday, March 2, 2008

I wish I could be Johnny Chung Lee for a Day! Tracking fingers with the Wii Remote

I've mentioned in previous posts that I am a fan of Johnny Chung Lee, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction department at Carnegie-Mellon University. Johnny expects to complete his Ph.D this year. Johnny recently presented his innovative work at TED 2008.

What impresses me about Johnny is the way that he has documented his intellectual journey in a very accessible way, by using YouTube and his well-organized, appealing website. Johnny has taken interesting ideas that most would dismiss as silly or impractical, and transformed them into useful, usable applications that hold great promise for future work.

In my opinion, many of Johnny's "hacks" will spark ideas related to the design and development of universally designed technologies and applications that will meet the technology needs of a wider range of people. This is important, especially now that an increasing number of "connected" interactive displays and kiosks (known by the marketing industry as interactive digital signage) in public spaces.

Johnny's research interests:
"Novel techniques that greatly enhance the practicality and reachability of interactive technology, such as projector calibration, multi-projector applications, augmented reality, physical and tactile input, multi-point interaction, head-tracking, and biometric input."

YouTube Description:

"Using an IR led array and some reflective tape, you can track fingers in thin air using the Wii Remote by Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. The grid software is a custom program written using a C# wiimote library and DirectX. More information about the grid software can be found at"

Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote

Johnny Chung Lee's YouTube Channel

Johnny Chung Lee's Wii Projects Website

My YouTube Playlist: Cool Technology, Interactive Multimedia, and More!

About TED:

"TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)."

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