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Session TitleSpeakerRoomStartEnd
Keynote WednesdayIvan PoupyrevH2-02 Hetzel Building Main Lecture Theatre02 Oct, 2013 09:00 AM02 Oct, 2013 10:00 AM
Keynote Speaker
Ivan Poupyrev

From the dawn of the industrial revolution and establishment of mass production the world has been fixed and immutable. The objects and devices around us were designed by engineers, manufactured in factories, sold in stores and brought to our homes and offices to serve the purpose that they had been made for. Our roles were that of passive consumers.

Recently, however, we have come to expect that our objects and environments are interactive, engaging and hackable anytime and anywhere. We are no longer passive consumers. With new rapid prototyping tools, open source software, readily available sensors and microprocessors, novel materials, 3D printers and printed electronics our world can be hacked, twisted, connected, re-connected and extended with functionality that it is not supposed to have. We can make living plants play digital music and human bodies transmit sound, we can build touch screens on water, extend our world by 3D printing whatever we need, create virtual objects that we can feel in free air with bare hands and produce electrical energy from ordinary paper. Everyday physical objects, both living and artificial, and entire environments can be made interactive, responsive and digital. Never before in our collective history have we as individuals had so much power to re-make the world around us, enhance it with new experiences and functionalities that educate, delight, entertain and make our lives better in countless ways. And most of them are yet to be invented.

In this talk I will look back at the relation of digital technology and physical world, speculate about it’s future and discuss some of the recent explorations that myself and my group have been conducting in merging digital computing and physical environments. Some of the topics include new technologies for tactile augmentation, free-air haptics, deformable and compliant computers, ad-hoc sensor augmentation, biologically inspired interfaces, energy harvesting and others. The talk will cover both early projects that I conducted at Sony Corporation and current research efforts by the Interaction Group at Disney Research, Pittsburgh.


Dr. Ivan Poupyrev is a Principle Research Scientist at the Walt Disney Company, where he directs an Interactive Technology Group in the Disney Research Pittsburgh laboratory. Prior to Disney, Ivan worked as a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Tokyo, Japan. He also did a stint at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington as a visiting scientist while working on his Ph.D. dissertation at Hiroshima University, Japan.

His research focuses on inventing new technologies and designing interaction paradigms that seamlessly blend digital and physical interactivity in devices, everyday objects, and living environments on a very large scale. His research and innovations span a broad range of topics including virtual and augmented reality, haptics, sensing and actuators, interactive biological matter, energy harvesting, 3D printing and additive manufacturing and more. The results of his work have been presented at major international conferences, such as ACM SIGGRAPH, CHI, UIST and ISMAR to name a few, where it received multiple Best Paper and Best Demo Awards. It was broadly reported in popular media including BBC, CNN, Wired, New York Times, New Scientist, The Washington Post, NIKKEI, Forbes, Time, MIT Technology review and many others. Besides international recognition, the results of his research were released on the market in a variety of products worldwide. His innovation in interaction design received the Nokia Ubimedia Award, was featured in the International Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne, was nominated for National Design Award by Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and received Honorable Mention at ARS Prix Electronica in 2013. Forrester Media featured him as one of the leading Digital Disruptors in 2013 and Bloomberg Business Week featured him as one of the Innovators of 2012. In 2013, Fast Company Magazine recognized him as one of the World’s 100 Most Creative People.


Twitter: @ipoupyrev