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Accessibility
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Learning Tools
Maker Tools

The Makeability Lab is a research lablet within the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL)—one of the oldest and most well-known HCI labs in the world—at the University of Maryland. Founded in 2012 by Dr. Jon Froehlich and students, the Makeability Lab focuses on designing and studying novel interactive experiences that cross between bits and atoms—the virtual and the physical—and back again to confront some of the world's greatest challenges in environmental sustainability, health and wellness, education, and universal accessibility.

Recent News

I am deeply honored to learn that I have been named a Sloan Research Fellow along with my CS colleague Tom Goldstein (that's me and Tom in the picture during the CS department's Sloan celebration). While the Sloan is awarded individually, I truly believe the recognition should be shared more broadly: particularly with my students, collaborators, and mentors who have helped inspire, enable, and enrich my work.

I am also thankful for the support and mentorship from the UMD CS Department and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. I now feel doubly motivated to live up to the esteem of the award (which I will do just as soon as my paternity leave ends)!

Read more at the CS and UMIACS news releases

We were just notified that MakerWear received the Best Paper award at CHI2017 (top 1% of all submissions at CHI). The conference received over 2400 submissions and 24 were chosen for Best paper (97 were chosen for Honorable Mention). Congrats to lead student Majeed Kazemitibaar and the whole MakerWear team!

This is the first full research publication from Froehlich's NSF CAREER award.

Dr. Leah Findlater and I were just awarded a Google Faculty Research Award for our work on wearable sound awareness support for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. This project, codenamed GlassEar, began as a collaboration back in 2014 with Dhruv Jain, then a visiting researcher and now an incoming PhD student.

I'm excited to announce that our group just received an NSF CAREER Award to develop and study new interfaces, techniques, and tools to enable young children (ages 5-10) to program, build, and use their own interactive wearables. I've been working on this project since about the time I arrived at UMD, and I'm so happy that it is now funded. Lab member (and MS student) Majeed Kazemitabaar has been absolutely critical in the past few years to making this project what it is today. Our first paper on this work will be published at CHI2017. Hope to see you there!

See also this UMIACS news release.

Project Sidewalk is now listed on citizenscience.gov (direct link). Citizenscience.gov is "an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government." Check it out!

Recent Videos

SqueezaPulse: Adding Interactive Input to Fabricated Objects Using Corrugated Tubes and Air Pulses

A video supplement to our TEI 2017 paper "SqueezaPulse: Adding Interactive Input to Fabricated Objects Using Corrugated Tubes and Air Pulses"

SharedPhys: Live Physiological Sensing, Whole-Body Interaction, and Large-Screen Visualizations to Support Shared Inquiry Experiences

A video supplement to our IDC 2016 paper "SharedPhys: Live Physiological Sensing, Whole-Body Interaction, and Large-Screen Visualizations to Support Shared Inquiry Experiences"

Recent Publications

SqueezaPulse: Adding Interactive Input to Fabricated Objects Using Corrugated Tubes and Air Pulses

Liang He  Gierad Laput  Eric Brockmeyer  Jon E. Froehlich 

Proceedings of TEI'17

Evaluating Haptic and Auditory Directional Guidance to Assist Blind People in Reading Printed Text Using Finger-Mounted Cameras

Lee Stearns  Ruofei Du  Uran Oh  Catherine Jou  Leah Findlater  David Ross  Jon E. Froehlich 

ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) 2016

“That's Your Heart!”: Live Physiological Sensing & Visualization Tools for Life-Relevant & Collaborative STEM Learning

Leyla Norooz  Tamara L. Clegg  Seokbin Kang  Angelisa Plane  Vanessa Oguamanam  Jon E. Froehlich 

Proceedings of ICLS 2016

Recent Talks

Project Sidewalk: Characterizing Physical World Accessibility At Scale

Manaswi Saha

Feb. 8, 2017 Arlington, Virginia

Interactive Computational Tools for Accessibility

Meethu Malu Ladan Najafizadeh Uran Oh Manaswi Saha Lee Stearns

Nov. 7, 2016 College Park, Maryland

Tech+Design: Interaction Design for a Purpose

Soheil Behnezhad Liang He Majeed Kazemitabaar Manaswi Saha

Nov. 3, 2016 University of Maryland, College Park

Characterizing Physical World Accessibility at Scale

Kotaro Hara

Nov. 3, 2016 Austin, Texas

Evaluating Haptic and Auditory Guidance to Assist Blind People in Reading Printed Text Using Finger-Mounted Cameras

Lee Stearns

Oct. 26, 2016 Reno, Nevada

MakerWear: Early Explorations of Wearable Construction Kits for Children

Majeed Kazemitabaar

Sept. 25, 2016 Silver Spring, Maryland

Social Fabrics: Designing Wearable Electronics Textiles for Interaction, Introspection, and Inquiry

Jon E. Froehlich

Aug. 10, 2016 College Park, Maryland

SharedPhys: Live Physiological Sensing, Whole-Body Interaction, and Large-Screen Visualizations to Support Shared Inquiry Experiences

Seokbin Kang

June 22, 2016 Manchester, UK

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