Pervasive Computing Lab

Exploring the Possibilities of Human-Computer Interaction

Co-Directed by Dr. Charles Tappert and Dr. Sung-Hyuk Cha

Pervasive computing goes beyond the realm of personal computers. Ubiquitous devices that are becoming smaller and more powerful are embedded with incredible technology and connectivity. Pervasive computing concerns the idea that almost anything can become a 'device' - from clothing and appliances to cars and homes, and even to the human body. Just about anything can be embedded with chips and connected to an infinite network of other devices. Pervasive computing combines current network and wireless technologies with progressively smaller computing devices, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, and internet capability, to create an environment where connectivity is unobtrusive and always available.

Human-computer interaction (HCI) has not really changed for several decades. We continue to use the highly successful graphical user interface commonly referred to as the WIMP (windows, icons, menus, pointer) interface with our personal computers. This paradigm will not meet the uses of computers in the future because:

  • computers are getting smaller and more pervasive with wireless communication, so the size factor makes graphical user interfaces impractical; and,
  • the push to make computers easier to use is leading us in the direction of interacting with machines in human modalities, such as speech, handwriting, and gestures.

The purpose of this laboratory is to provide an environment to:

  • study and better understand the available HCI techniques and combinations of techniques
  • study new HCI techniques for small mobile devices and for embedded devices
  • examine how people interact with each other and with the real world in order to devise better HCI techniques
  • explore and better understand ways to enable computers to use human communication modalities, including:
    • speech recognition, speech synthesis, and emerging voice technologies and applications
    • handwriting recognition, pen computing and applications
    • other pattern recognition and artificial intelligence technologies
  • explore related security technologies including:
    • biometric applications
    • individuality studies
    • spam and phishing detection and related issues
    • forensics applications
  • explore wearable and handheld computing and their enabling technologies, including:
    • input: speech recognition and pen technologies
    • output: head mounted display and speech output technologies
    • communication: wireless technologies and Internet connectivity
    • virtual reality technologies
  • help businesses understand and utilize these emerging pervasive computing technologies