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Supporting Proxemic Interactions with Multi-Scale Electric Field Sensing

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Electric field sensing is the basis for many unobtrusive user interfaces that measure the proximity to objects and humans. Depending on the sensing approach, captured information may comprise the dimensions of orientation, distance, motion, identity, and location. This information is vital to realize proxemic interaction systems that adapt to the spatial relationships between the environment, humans, and devices.

In this talk, electric field sensing approaches will be discussed to capture the different proxemic interaction dimensions. A special focus is put on scalability in terms of physical size: The presented techniques range from recognizing hand movements in distances up to 30 cm to sensing persons at room scales. The talk reflects on several exemplary systems like an emergency-detecting floor and ubiquitous gesture recognition systems. It will give an outlook on future opportunities of electric field sensing and promising developments.

Tobias Grosse-Puppendahl studied Information System Technology at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. After his studies, he joined Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research as a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dieter W. Fellner. Tobias’ research focuses on embedded sensing systems for Ubiquitous Computing and Human-Computer Interaction. In particular, he investigates new ways of perceiving the environment with unobtrusive modalities like capacitive sensing. His scientific results are applied in several commercial and open-source projects in the field of explicit interaction, as well as activity and behaviour analysis.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Cambridge, public talks series.

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