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Playing Around at CHI 2013

Last month I got to attend the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (everybody just calls it CHI — pronounced Kai). This year it was in Paris, France. Not a bad gig if you can find it.

I presented two of my research projects as Works in Progress. Fidget Widgets is still quite early on. Open Sesame is further along. You can see more about Open Sesame sans the academic pay-wall over yonder.

Next to one of my two posters, Asaki Miura presented her work: Social Playware with an Enhanced Reach for Facilitating Group Interaction. Again, here’s more on her project minus the academic pay-wall. “Enhanced Reach” is the name her team gave to their wireless wearable device. It reacts visually to the geometric arrangements of those who wear it near one another. They found that it aided children with developmental impairments to socially interact and play with one another. In one instance, this playful technology motivated a little boy to leave his mother’s side for the very first time. This is the power and promise of playful technology.

Playful technology helping children with developmental disordersNote Asaki’s pointer — it’s Mickey Mouse’s hand

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