Currently, I am attending the conference HCI International 2013 to present the EMIL paper by our research group. HCI International is a conference on human factors similar to CHI and it is huge with 1666 accepted papers and 264 parallel sessions. The conference takes place at The Mirage in Las Vegas, which adequately is a huge place.
To open up the conference, Hiroshi Ishii gave an inspiring keynote. Ishii is a veteran of tangible interaction research and founded the Tangible Media Group @ MIT Media Lab. Ishii is not actually a practical researcher but rather focuses on interaction visions that according to him last much longer than new technologies (technologies ~1 year, visions potentially > 100 years). In the keynote, he showed videos of lots of research projects by him and his students. For me, an especially interesting aspect of these videos was the recurring element of children using tangible artifacts. I myself supervised that with my own son as well: tangible interaction using real physical objects is much more attractive than simple multi-touch interaction for children in the kindergarten age.
If you like to, you will find some example videos of Tangible Media Group @ MIT Media Lab at the end of this post or you can read more about Ishii”s vision of Tangible Bits.
Furthermore, I cannot resist to share some visual experiences of The Mirage. As I said, it is a huge place that is very american. Everywhere over the place you find thick carpets, golden applications on the wall and chandeliers. It is not actually beautiful but quite impressive.
Some example videos of the Tangible Media Group @ MIT Media