I’ve never understood how some conferences can have their agenda finalized three or four months prior to the actual event. It’s like a recipe for ensuring that your agenda is out of date. On the other hand, when you get to be about a month out, you kind of HAVE to finalize the agenda — just for pure logistical reasons. Accordingly, the Blur agenda is coming together (it’s about 90% done), so I’m actually at a point where I can take a look at what Day 1 holds.
We begin the day with Dr. Kay Stanney (of Design Interactive) talking about Neuro-Ergonomics. Kay is an authority in this area, and has done a ton of work in the simulation and training field for military organizations (and under the auspices of NSF grants).
From neuro-ergonomics, we move to social robotics — and a presentation by Cynthia Breazeal. Dr. Breazeal is the expert in the area of robotics – especially robotics that react to human emotion.
After the morning break, we head into a raft of keynote sessions that broaden the HCI universe: Han Lee on measuring emotions, Juan Pons (of Swype) on mobile devices and HCI, Nimish Mehta (the creator of the first multi-touch interface — back in 1983!) on the future of haptics, and a great panel on augmenting the world of things.
By lunch, we’ve covered everything from design to robotics to augmented reality to haptics to human emotion measurement — and, as we go to lunch, we get our first chance to interact with the actual technologies in these areas, as we open up the technology interaction room. From Kinect hacks that allow you to pilot an AR Drone around the room to markerless motion capture to a 3D light sculptures — time to lay hands on the amazing.
After lunch we settle in for two more keynotes: Andrew Tschesnok on capturing motion, and a panel discussing location as a primary interface input. And then we’re back into our primary focus — time to interact with the technology.
By this point, your head’s spinning, so you grab a coffee and head for some breakout sessions, and get to choose from human instrumentation, designing interactive exhibits (in museums, etc), a session on Kinect hacks, and some presentations on interactive ads and consumer experiences.
The day ends with Paul Berberian from Obotix talking about the future of gaming and interactive entertainment.
Your brain’s loaded, ideas are swirling, and you head to the evening reception for more technology interaction, some adult beverages, and music provided by Siesta Key’s musical impresario, Ben Hammond.
That’s day 1. Sleep well because day 2 is gonna bring it.