CS547 Human-Computer Interaction Seminar  (Seminar on People, Computers, and Design)

Fridays 12:50-2:05 · Gates B01 · Open to the public
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Thad Starner · College of Computing, Georgia Tech
Wearable Computing: Assimilating the Next Generation of 'Borg
April 1, 2011

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Wearable computing is now a part of everyday life. Bluetooth headsets, iPods, and smart phones are commonly worn in public and have much of the functionality demonstrated by early researchers in the field. What is the next step? In this talk, I will describe some of the more unusual and surprising applications currently being explored at Georgia Tech. These include Mobile Music Touch (a mobile, wireless glove that helps a wearer learn new piano melodies without active attention), BrainSign (a Brain Computer Interface effort which attempts to recognize sign language by scanning the user's motor cortex), and CHAT (the Cetacean Hearing Augmentation and Telemetry wearable computer designed for two way communication with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins). I will also describe our ongoing, long-term effort using wearable computers as a grand-AI experiment.


Thad Starner directs the Contextual Computing Group at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he is an Associate Professor in the School of Interactive Computing.

Starner was perhaps the first to integrate a wearable computer into his everyday life as a personal assistant, and he coined the term "augmented reality" in 1990 to describe the types of interfaces he envisioned at the time. His group's prototypes on mobile context-based search, gesture-based interfaces, mobile MP3 players, and mobile instant messaging foreshadowed now commonplace devices and services.

Thad has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications with over 100 co-authors on mobile Human Computer Interaction (HCI), pattern discovery, energy harvesting for mobile devices, and gesture recognition. He is a founder and current chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Wearable Information Systems, and his work has been discussed on CNN, NPR, the BBC, CBS's 60 Minutes, ABC's 48 Hours, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Thad received a PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory and dual MIT S.B. degrees in Computer Science and Brain and Cognitive Science.

He is always looking for a good game of table tennis.