Dr. Nan-Wei Gong is a researcher and an engineer. She is the founder and CEO of Circular2, and a research affiliate of the MIT Media Lab. Her primary research interest is in digital interfaces that seamlessly integrate into everyday objects. Her past work includes flexible and customizable printed sensing surfaces for gestural control, time-of-flight modules for 3D gesture tracking, and wearable sensing for dynamic management of ubiquitous media. At MIT, Nan-Wei was an Energy Fellow, and has extensive experience developing low-power sensing systems and wearable electronics. She has worked in a number of industrial research labs, among them Microsoft Research and the Nokia Research Center, and is currently assigned as the R&D lead of Project Jacquard at Google ATAP. She holds a PhD and MS degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, where she worked in the Responsive Environments Group under Prof. Joseph A. Paradiso, and a MS in Materials Science and Engineering from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.
Keynote: Wearable, Decorative, and Invisible Computing: Opportunities and Challenges
What we see as disruptive innovation is most often the integration of many incremental scientific advancements—supporting technologies that, when put together in just the right way, make radical advancements possible. We live in an era where the supporting technologies of wearable computers are maturing and pervading our everyday lives. In this talk, I will discuss how recent advancements in those technologies affect us as a research community, challenging us to reimagine computers as at once functional, decorative, and often invisible elements of our bodies and the physical world. The most pressing challenges for researchers in this space are no longer technological. At the verge of successfully realizing the long-held vision of ubiquitous computing, we are facing a new challenge: human and invisible-computer interaction. The second part of my talk will focus on the challenges we face as designers and engineers of the next wave of human-computer interaction, and the pitfalls we might encounter as computers become indistinguishable from ourselves and our everyday objects.