On this page you will find a list of all the papers that have been accepted for our workshop. We are grateful to everyone who submitted their work, and we are thrilled to showcase the diverse and innovative research that has been submitted. Congratulations to all the authors whose papers have been accepted!
Glenn Fernandes (Northwestern University) [attending]
Mahdi Pedram (Northwestern University) [attending]
Nabil Alshurafa (Northwestern University)
In recent years, the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community has shown a growing preference for employing custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) in research projects involving wearable technology. Despite the advantages of this approach, such as compact form factor and increased efficiency, designing and manufacturing custom PCBs can be time-consuming, costly, and burdensome for researchers, thereby delaying the research process. Furthermore, with recent advancements in chip manufacturing technology, there has been a surge in the availability of system-on-chip (SoC) boards with sensing and communication capabilities. However, the process of choosing the appropriate development board, sensors, and prototype design strategy that align with project requirements and can function efficiently in free-living settings may present a challenge, particularly for researchers who are advanced beginners in this area. Given our experience designing embedded mobile health systems, we present a prototyping strategy for developing wearable embedded systems by identifying potential pitfalls advanced beginners face when selecting and assembling components for prototyping wearable technology research projects. We also provide practical recommendations for selecting appropriate development boards, sensors, and prototype designs, serving as a valuable guide for researchers in the field.
Dan Jackson (Open Lab, School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK)
Prototyping toolkits excel at creating proof-of-concept systems for novel hardware yet fall short for some elements of HCI research, such as IoT and wearable prototypes, which have specific form-factor or interface constraints. Single board computers are in high demand and are increasingly treated as components, while previous-generation mobile devices become e-waste. Our experiences of HCI research prototypes have persuaded us that there is an argument for allowing mobile devices to be repurposed as electronic toolkit components and that there is scope to extend prototyping toolkits to higher-level concerns, such as user interfaces.
Richard Grafton (University of Bristol) [attending]
The proliferation of “low-barrier to entry” prototyping platforms in the last decade has enabled a wide range of individuals to unlock creative ideas and turn them into interactive devices which sense, actuate and communicate in surprisingly novel ways. However, the potential of these ideas and devices are often limited by practical barriers resulting in creative projects stalling or being abandoned altogether. This paper argues that these trends are not necessarily the result of a lack “novel” development boards but caused by practical issues stemming from the inherent tensions in hardware R&D and the hidden barriers of PCB design & manufacture. As such this paper presents ‘MEMA’: an expandable technology stack which takes the lessons learned from experiences of hardware prototyping and attempts to ease some of the tensions inherent in hardware R&D.
Richard Lin (UCLA) [attending]
Rohit Ramesh (UC Berkeley)
Prabal Dutta (UC Berkeley)
Björn Hartmann (UC Berkeley)
Ankur Mehta (UCLA)
While modern electronics prototyping systems – both breadboard-based and toolkits – have enabled even novices to be productive and able to build functional devices quickly, they also impose a low ceiling on capability by being limited to the ecosystem of breadboard- or toolkit-compatible parts. However, inspired by the success of software engineering and its library-driven development flow in being novice-friendly and scaling up to complex applications, we instead examine a hardware description language (HDL) approach to electronics design that can enable user-created libraries and user-defined design automation to make electronics design easier and more efficient while offering the flexibility and capability of custom circuit boards. In this position paper, we recap our prior work on this HDL and discuss extensions to better support prototyping as well as explore the broader trade-off space of electronics design tools.
Sarah Delgado Rodriguez (University of the Bundeswehr Munich) [attending]
Oliver Heine (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
Ismael Prieto Romero (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
Lukas Mecke (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
Felix Dietz (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
Sarah Prange (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
Florian Alt (University of the Bundeswehr Munich)
As computation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, researchers and makers have shown a strong interest in similarly adapting the way we interact with technology. To this end novel user interaction devices are being developed. However, prototyping such devices usually requires profound expertise in soft- and hardware development. To empower people without this expertise, we envision a future where plug & play toolkits allow everyday objects to be augmented easily, rapidly, and in an inexpensive manner. We present the concept for the Shake-It-All toolkit, enabling plug & play sensing of a large variety of tangible interactions on everyday objects (e.g., touching, tilting, squeezing, shaking, or moving). We plan to implement Shake-It-All in the future to investigate use cases such as controlling IoT devices, embedded authentication, or physiological sensing.
Cedric Honnet (MIT) [attending]
Joseph A. Paradiso (MIT)
Stefanie Mueller (MIT)
We present a set of wearable toolkits for applications ranging from artistic performance to neuroscience. The development of these projects allowed discovering engineering and strategic mistakes over the years. From embedded electronics to eTextiles and materials science, our research leans towards accessible and reproducible smart fibers to democratize conformable wearable devices.
Jake Read (MIT Center for Bits and Atoms) [attending]
Leo McElroy (Hack Club, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms) [attending]
Quentin Bolsee (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms) [attending]
We overload “Softening Hardware” to refer to making hardware development easier, and doing so by making it more like software development. We suggest doing this by virtualizing hardware devices and lifting systems integration from embedded environments into high-level interactive ones. In our “Modular-Things” project we developed a set of single purpose circuits, a networking library for real-time communication in heterogeneous hardware, and a web-based IDE for integrating complete systems of these devices. “Modular-Things” is not just a collection of dedicated circuits, it’s a set of tools for developing modular hardware systems which can be composed in software. The future paradigm we envision is independent developers producing hardware modules which can be easily integrated into complete systems, in a manner analogous to how open-source software developers create libraries. This will be enabled by embedding integration information (like an API) within hardware modules themselves and by exposing this information in accessible interactive development environments.
Jasmine Lu (University of Chicago) [attending]
Pedro Lopes (University of Chicago)
While electronic devices have become increasingly embedded in our daily lives and environments, these devices are rapidly made obsolete by new versions, break over time, and get thrown out as electronic waste. Meanwhile, the average consumer device can contain dozens to hundreds of electronic components that could be reused for new prototypes. The future of electronics learning, manufacturing, and design should be designed to engage with the issue of e-waste and the impact of the millions of devices that are bought and thrown out by consumers. By focusing on enabling pathways for electronic component reuse, many research opportunities emerge to enable benefits across sustainability, education, and even, electronics design. We outline specific research directions to enable a future of more ecologically conscious electronics prototyping through reuse and discuss our recent explorations in designing tools for reuse in electronic design automation (EDA) software.
Ilan Mandel (Information Science, Cornell Tech) [attending]
Wendy Ju (Information Science, Cornell Tech)
In our practice as educators, researchers and designers we have found that centering reverse engineering and reuse has pedagogical, environmental, and economic benefits. Design decisions in the development of new hardware tool-kits should consider how we can use e-waste at hand as integral components of electronics prototyping. Dissection, extraction and modification can give insights into how things are made at scale. Simultaneously, it can enable prototypes that have greater fidelity or functionality than would otherwise be cost-effective to produce.
Alexander Bincalar (University of Southampton)
Christopher Freeman (University of Southampton)
M.C. Schraefel (University of Southampton)
This paper for Beyond Prototyping Boards: Future Paradigms for Electronics Toolkits proposes an analogue signal processing toolbox to simplify and accelerate the design process of prototypes that require an element of signal processing. Several different stackable modules are proposed, including an instrumentation amplifier, a Sallen-Key, a notch filter and a non-inverting amplifier. Based on the authors' experience with electromyography, an example implementation is given using the proposed toolkit. It is hoped that such a toolkit could reduce development time, minimise cost and aid in teaching signal processing and signal acquisition.
J. Garza (University of California, San Diego) [attending]
Steve Swanson (University of California, San Diego)
Electronics prototyping using breakout boards allows designers with and without an engineering background to rapidly create interactive prototypes. However, when it comes to transition to a production-ready PCB design, stagnation exists due to the high skill floor required for PCB design. While PCB design automation has been used successfully in recent research tools to reduce the required expertise, little has been done to integrate these tools directly into the electronics prototyping cycle. This position paper aims to bring attention to the possibility of integrating recent PCB design automation paradigms into the electronics prototyping cycle for the creation of PCB-ready breakout boards: breakout boards whose designs would have the ability to be pipelined directly into new user interfaces that leverage the use of automation for the rapid creation of production-ready PCB designs.
Lars Erik Holmquist (Northumbria University) [attending]
Physical interaction technologies are popular in HCI research, yet have struggled to reach consumers. I argue that one reason is the lack of a platform – not for prototyping, but for delivery of physical applications. Analogues can be drawn to previous successful platforms such as the desktop computer and the smartphone, which worked as a standardized vessel for a multitude of different applications.
Leo McElroy (Independent Researcher) [attending]
Quentin Bolsee (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms) [attending]
Clement Zheng (National University of Singapore) [attending]
Peter Gyory (University of Colorado, Boulder) [attending]
Ellen Yi-Luen Do (University of Colorado, Boulder)
The electronics-centered approach to physical computing presents challenges when designers build tangible interactive systems due to its inherent emphasis on circuitry and electronic components. To explore an alternative physical computing approach we have developed a computer vision (CV) based system that uses a webcam, computer, and printed fiducial markers to create functional tangible interfaces. Over the last three years, we ran a series of studios with design participants to investigate how CV markers can participate in physical computing and the construction of physical interactive systems. We observed that CV markers offer versatile materiality for tangible interactions, afford the use of democratic materials for interface construction, and engage designers in embodied debugging with their own vision as a proxy for CV. Taking these insights, we are developing a visual editor that enables designers to easily program marker behavior and connect it to keyboard events. We believe that such a platform will enable designers to develop physical and digital interfaces concurrently while minimizing the complexity of integrating both sides. In addition, this platform can also facilitate the construction of many alternative interfaces for existing software that cater to different people. We discuss our motivation, progress, and future work of this research here.
Oliver Child (University of Bristol) [attending]
Open and accessible design and fabrication of silicon appear to be a solution to the structural weaknesses of the microelectronics industry. For HCI researchers, makers, and educators, this provides new opportunities to develop flexible and extendable prototyping solutions that span all levels of abstraction from transistor to prototype, to low-volume production run product. By opening up designs and tools, we can break down information barriers between the layers of abstraction. The accessibility of this novel approach will mean software and hardware tools can be supercharged to help researchers and makers realize their ideas more easily.
Yoonji Kim (Chung-Ang University) [attending]
Hye-Young Jo (Chung-Ang University) [attending]
Physical computing prototyping is complex task involving software and hardware. In continuous prototyping scenarios, diverse range of makers may encounter a variety of obstacles that arise from their differing objectives, expertise levels, and prototyping procedures. Thus, it is essential to provide makers with in-situ assistance during physical computing prototyping to bridge the gap between conception and creation. To address this issue, we have developed systems that aid makers in physical computing prototyping. Our previous research involved formative studies that identified the challenges makers face during the prototyping process. Based on the issues we discovered, we have designed systems that offer in-situ assistance in physical computing, enabling users of varying knowledge levels to prototype their concepts. In this workshop, we introduce our prior proposed systems and discuss how to support makers in different stages of the prototyping process, as the levels of a maker's expertise fluctuate over time.
Ruhan Yang (University of Colorado Boulder)
Krithik Ranjan (University of Colorado Boulder)
Ellen Do (University of Colorado Boulder) [attending]
This paper introduces a new method of paper circuit fabrication that overcomes design barriers and increases flexibility in circuit design. Conventional circuit boards rely on thin traces, which limits the complexity and accuracy when applied to paper circuits. To address this issue, we propose a method that uses large conductive zones in paper circuits and performs subtractive processing during their fabrication. This approach eliminates design barriers and allows for more flexibility in circuit design. We introduce PaperCAD, a software tool that simplifies the design process by converting traditional circuit design to paper circuit design. We demonstrate our technique by creating two paper circuit boards. Our approach has the potential to promote the development of new applications for paper circuits.
Jesse T Gonzalez (Carnegie Mellon University)
Most printed circuit boards are made of layers – stacks of copper-coated cores, with insulating sheets sandwiched in-between. The process of making this stack (layup and bonding) is almost always performed in a factory, as a routine step in a highly-mature fabrication process. But a savvy hacker can tweak this formula. If we intercept the boards in the middle of this conventional pipeline — taking command of the layup procedure ourselves — we can insert novel structures that transform standard PCBs into dynamic, compact electro-mechanical devices. One immediate application is in the development of reprogrammable, shape-changing materials that scale. Too often, the electronics that are inserted into these prototypes are treated as an afterthought — the result is a structure that is size-limited by a labor-intensive assembly process. We instead propose integrating actuatable materials directly into the already-established, scalable manufacturing pipeline for electronics, re-conceptualizing these “programmable surfaces” as extra-functional multilayer circuits. So far, our work in this area has revolved around integrating pneumatic structures (i.e. electrostatic valves) into multilayer PCBs, which has allowed us to create dynamic tactile patterns and simple shape-changing robots. In order to accelerate this experimentation (and allow the wider community to participate), software tools will need to be developed that capture certain abstractions, and render them as design files that can be readily manufactured.
Anke Brocker (RWTH Aachen University) [attending]
Jan Borchers (RWTH Aachen University) [attending]
We present eight challenges that electronics prototyping toolkits are facing, and that HCI research can help to address. These observations are based on our own and related work. We close with a short sample vision of future electronics prototyping.
Rosella Gennari (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
Soufiane Krik (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano) [attending]
Alessandra Melonio (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
Luisa Petti (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
We hypothesize that more inclusive Science & Technology (S&T) education requires novel phygital toolkits, combining and adapting physical material, open software and hardware, for broadening the range of expression means for diverse learners. The toolkits should also be open in that they enable for the free exploration of their inner working and related S&T knowledge. Moreover, in line with recent inclusive initiatives for learners, we propose that such toolkits should be used in socio-culturally relevant design activities for “making and use” and “collective sense-making”. Our position paper explains how we started and continue developing open phygital toolkits for inclusive S&T educational activities which are design-oriented, and example prototypes of such toolkits by authors of this paper and colleagues.
Ali Askari (Ulm University, Institute of Media Informatics) [attending]
Evgeny Stemasov (Ulm University, Institute of Media Informatics) [attending]
Microcontroller chips are commonly used in everyday electronics. Household items as well as industrial machinery and even defensive technologies rely on these Very-large-scale integration integrated circuits (VLSI IC) computing units. For a long time, experts in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, or similar domains were required to program such units and design the components around them. Even though projects like “Basic Stamp” tried to popularize microcontrollers like the PIC16, making them more accessible for novice users in the early 90s, and several educational kits attempted the same later, it is fair to state that the concept used by the Arduino Prototyping platform enabled a broader range of people with a more diverse professional background to use microcontroller technology for themselves. Artists, hobbyists, but also people from the aforementioned technical fields use the platform for their projects, due to its simplified software and hardware environment, as well as their low entry barrier. However, with advances in electronics and the creativity of groups and individuals, projects and extensions have become more complex, and therefore, the requirements towards the capabilities, as well as the usability of such prototyping platforms have increased. With this position paper, we want to give an insight into the challenges and obstacles novice users of the Arduino platform can encounter by analyzing data from a web-forum and interpreting it by comparing it to our own observations we made as instructors in the field of hardware prototyping, followed by suggestions to an initial set of promising directions for easing the entry level for novice users.
Kongpyung (Justin) Moon (KAIST) [attending]
3D printing technology has revolutionized the prototyping process by enabling fast and cost-efficient creation of functional prototypes. These prototypes have the potential to be disruptive as they allow testing user interaction under a range of conditions. The advancements in 3D printing functional parts will allow users to print beta prototypes that actuate, sense, and process information, enabling for rapid manufacture of initial ideas and products. This workshop paper includes how a material property and its reaction to heat can be leveraged to control functions such as resistance, leading to the creation of 3D printed fuses and switches, which opens up wide research opportunities to explore and develop 3D printed processors that can be integrated into objects during the printing process.
Wenda Zhao (University of Bristol) [attending]
Electronics prototyping boards have brought a lot of versatility in the world of prototyping, allowing designers, researchers and makers to build a variety of digital artefacts. However we see an increase in Material-Centric approaches in which active materials are manipulated to create new digital contraptions. For example programmable ink can be used in combination with conductive and non-conductive material to create a display from scratch, rather than using off-the shelf components. While those new ways of prototyping can bring new form factors in the design of interactive devices, they also come with their challenges. To start identifying those challenges and discussing these at the workshop, we build a volumetric displays with electrochromic materials. The display is driven by a MSP430 microcontroller with pins controlling each voxel separately, and by controlling the display element matrix 3D images are generated. We learn from our experience in building such device to draw insights on the feasibility of using active material to create digital devices. We hope to initiate discussions about how Material-Centric processes must also be taken into consideration when rethinking the future of prototyping.
Teresa Pelinski (Queen Mary University of London) [attending]
Franco Caspe (Queen Mary University of London) [attending]
Embedded hardware platforms such as single-board computers (e.g., Raspberry Pi, Bela) or microcontrollers (e.g., Teensy, Arduino Uno) offer an entry point for beginners into physical computing. However, deploying neural networks into these platforms is challenging for various reasons: It requires lower-level software development skills, as machine learning toolkits are typically not incorporated into these platforms. Besides, the long compilation times burden debugging and quick prototyping and experimentation. Due to the low-resource nature of embedded hardware platforms, neural networks are usually trained on a host machine, which involves a back-and-forth of data, platforms and programming languages. We inquire how these computing ecosystems might be designed to facilitate prototyping and experimentation and integrate into existing programming workflows.
James Nash (University of Bath) [attending]
Cameron Steer (University of Bath) [attending]
Teodora Dinca (University of Bath) [attending]
Christopher Clarke (University of Bath)
Jason Alexander (University of Bath)
Our research focuses on force-augmented interactions on deformable displays, requiring the design and construction of interactive surfaces that can (1) dynamically alter their stiffness; (2) allow users to apply force to physically `push through' them and (3) apply force back on the users' fingers. However, these displays are complex to fabricate, limiting their availability. In this position paper, we propose force-responsive display breakout boards, which would provide off-the-shelf, self-contained deformable surfaces that can be used to study force-responsive interactions in various settings, including workshops or user studies. These boards would realise the availability and simplicity of breakout boards and prototype kits in studying force-responsive displays. We explore the challenges associated with designing and fabricating force-responsive displays, propose key features and functionalities, and discuss two concepts for possible examples of such boards, highlighting the potential uses and significant benefits this type of board could offer to the HCI community.
Evgeny Stemasov (Ulm University, Institute of Media Informatics) [attending]
Ali Askari (Ulm University, Institute of Media Informatics) [attending]
Digital fabrication combined with accessible electronics toolkits hands potential users an opportunity for unmatched creative expression: unique physical objects enriched with digital functionality, resulting in tangible, interactive, one-of-a-kind prototypes. These means are becoming increasingly affordable, but their reach often remains focused on enthusiast environments (i.e., hobbyists) or educational spaces. To increase the adoption and relevance of such toolkits, it is essential to consider the barriers faced not only by intrinsically motivated hobbyists, but also genuine non-users, who may gain motivation through their results, and less through friction in the process at first. The consideration of two aspects, present in design tools for manufacturing is valuable: 1) a focus on remixing existing designs to lower the required effort, and 2) in-situ interaction to allow for meaningful previews in the context for which prototypes are being built. With this position paper, we want to argue for the relevance, importance, and potential for situated, low-effort, and remixing-oriented workflows for the design of interactive artifacts. We first outline existing notions of remixing and in-situ design in adjacent domains, followed by a set of opportunities that can further the adoption of making across even wider user groups.
Ollie Hanton (University of Bath) [attending]
Additive manufacturing has shown phenomenal growth in recent years, enabling democratised decentralised production of free-form artefacts and prototypes. However, these are typically inactive. By adhering to the same core principles, we propose that the exploration of automated deposition of active materials has the same potential for growth within electronics fabrication. This research holds the potential to unlock new forms of electronic device and the possibility for use by non-specialists in a manner akin to domestic 3D printing. In our published work we carry out 1) explorations of automated deposition methods, 2) active material investigations and 3) research into integration of design within fabrication processes. The work that we present here explores interactive devices, as a set of implementations that benefit most from the ability for irregular form and insitu customisability related to display fabrication. However, in this position paper we argue that these three key research angles provide the potential for greater democratisation in an even broader range of electronics prototyping methods, beyond just interactive devices, such as laying of conductive traces and augmentation of passive objects with sensors.
Julian Rasch (LMU Munich) [attending]
Sebastian S. Feger (LMU Munich) [attending]
Extended reality (XR) applications become increasingly established tools to support users across a broad spectrum of tasks, including teaching environments for electronics and circuit design. While these offer fascinating possibilities of visualizing learning content, they lack the possibility of physical interaction. Here, tangible input devices provide an opportunity for engaging interactions with the learning content without the possible hazards of actual electronic components. This can provide effective and efficient interactions, important for meaningful learning experiences. In this paper we present and discuss our ongoing research on a tangible XR-supported smart breadboard, utilizing the possibilities of printed electronics.