news page


April 11, 2014
Brace for impact with our interactive app. This week our lab has released the Learn to Brace app for all major mobile and desktop operating systems. This first public game for aircraft passengers' safety is generating a lot of interest, and the news is being discusses on several popular Web sites, including Gizmodo, Slashdot and Fark.
March 18, 2014
Computer-Supported Mindfulness. Our lab is the first to conduct a laboratory study of the effectiveness of mindfulness apps. The paper has been published by the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and shows that the studied app is more effective than traditional non-interactive methods on a sample of novice meditators.
February 1, 2014
TIME features a virtual reality experiment carried out at our lab. Jeffrey Kluger, Editor at Large for TIME, the weekly news magazine with the largest world's circulation, reflects about the implications of the virtual reality experiment that took place at our lab in cooperation with SISSA Social Neuroscience Lab. His article can be read from TIME website), while the technical description of the experiment is at this link.
January 8, 2014
Social Neuroscience publishes a virtual reality experiment carried out at our lab. The study reproduced critical situations in which user's actions lead to the death of virtual humans (see video). The paper shows that user's behavior in virtual reality becomes more utilitarian with respect to the traditional, less realistic ways of presenting such dilemmas in moral psychology research.
October 18, 2013
Time perspective and problematic Internet use in Facebook users. A study conducted by our lab has linked specific attitudes towards time (Past Negative and Present Fatalistic) of Facebook users with their level of Problematic Internet Use. The results are described in a paper that has just appeared in the Personality and Individual Differences Journal.
September 3, 2013
New physiological measures for affective computing. In a paper presented today at the 5th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2013), our lab explores if eye-blink startle response, as a measure of stress and negative emotions, could be used in affective computing. We show that eye-blink startle response can be elicited using natural sounds and exploited in interactive applications such as 3D virtual environments.
August 5, 2013
Our lab completes a thorough study about using 3D serious games in a real medical emergency course. The game concerns Advanced Life Support (ALS) and is used to train nurses and doctors. The study has been published by one of the top international journals in Medical Informatics. You can download a copy of the paper at this link.
June 12, 2013
Navigation of 3D virtual environments by autistic children. Working with a multidisciplinary team, our lab explored how autistic and non-autistic children navigate 3D virtual environments. The results of the study have just appeared in the international journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and you can download the paper at this link.
May 8, 2013
Our lab receives Best Paper Award from Pervasive Health. Our lab received today the Best Paper Award from Pervasive Health 2013, the 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. The awarded paper proposes and evaluates a novel mobile exergame based on Digital Audio Storytelling.
May 7, 2013
Our lab releases the first open-source viewpoint computation library. The C++ library computes the best viewpoint in a 3D scene to satisfy a set of visual properties, such as size, visibility or angle of selected objects in the scene. It makes no assumptions on the scene and objects, and returns a result in pre-defined time for usage in interactive applications.
March 1, 2013
Physiological evaluation of mobile video games. A recent psychophysiological study conducted in our lab has focused on mobile Whac-a-Mole games, investigating user experience as well as desensitization to violence aspects. A journal paper about the study has just appeared and you can download it at this link.
February 4, 2013
Improving mobile apps with Overview+Detail interfaces. The lack of screen space on mobile devices requires app designers to adopt more sophisticated user interfaces to manage large information spaces. In a new paper that has just been published by the Personal and Ubiquitous Computing journal, we provide a thorough introduction to Overview+Detail interfaces, and illustrate an experiment that advances knowledge about their design space.
September 24, 2012
Our lab presents two papers at the MOBILE HCI 2012 International Conference. The first presentation was a full conference paper about the visualization of large numbers of off-screen objects on mobile devices, while the second was a workshop paper about a study with disabled students to assess their needs with respect to navigation and information services in university buildings.
June 7, 2012
Head of our lab receives Best Paper Award. Luca Chittaro received today the Best Paper Award at the 7th International Conference on Persuasive Technology in Sweden. The awarded paper illustrates how to educate airline passengers about aviation safety using video games.
May 31, 2012
HCI Lab presents iPhone mobile exergame that encourages walking. We have turned the classic Snake game into a mobile exergame in which the player controls the snake by walking in outdoors playing fields. Today we have released a video and a technical paper about the game.
May 18, 2012
HCI Lab invited to present at national conference on Non-Conventional Emergencies. More than 200 members of first response forces (emergency medical responders, firefighters, civil defense, police, military,...) attended the meeting, and our presentation illustrated the virtual reality systems and serious games we are developing for training.
May 8, 2012
HCI Lab invited to present at National Fire Corps event in Assisi. The theme of the National Fire Corps meeting concerned how to help people with disabilities in emergency situations, and our presentation illustrated the different systems we are developing to that purpose.
February 28, 2012
Studying natural user interfaces with Electromyography (EMG). People like "natural" interaction with computers and games but what are its effects on the muscular system? We begin to shed light on this scarcely explored aspect of natural interfaces with a detailed EMG study which will appear in the March Issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. We analyzed users' muscle activity in pointing activities with the Wii controller and compared it with traditional mouse and keyboard interaction.
December 28, 2011
The Director's Lens: a smart assistant for shooting CG movies. A research from our Lab, together with international partners (INRIA Rennes, France, and Millsaps College, USA), has been presented at ACM Multimedia 2011 and ParisFX conferences. The research concerns a smart assistant for shooting CG movies that combines manual and automatic camera control. You can read a brief description of it here and the full technical description here.
December 02, 2011
HCI Lab becomes an associate member of V-MusT. Our lab has joined V-MusT, the EU FP7-funded network of excellence that aims to provide the heritage sector with the tools and support to develop virtual museums that are educational, enjoyable, long-lasting and easy to maintain.
October 28, 2011
Personalization in e-health. Web-based personal medical records offer new opportunities for providing patients with personalized care. In the last years, we have built PRESYDIUM, a system that stores user models of disabled patients and uses them to support emergency medical services in the field by providing information and procedures tailored to the specific patient. Read all about it in a paper that has just appeared in the User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction (UMUAI) Journal.
September 30, 2011
Virtual Reality and Autistic Children. Our lab has joined a multidisciplinary team (integrating expertise from computer science, pedagogy, psychology and psychiatry) to explore the design of virtual reality applications that can be used by autistic children for education and training purposes. For a quick introduction to the research topic, you can read the state of the art we wrote for the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal published by Cambridge University Press.
September 01, 2011
Navigating when GPS signal is bad. Our lab has presented today a full paper at the MOBILE HCI 2011 International Conference about how mobile navigation apps can visualize the uncertainty of GPS positioning. The conference selection process was very strict and only 63 full papers and notes (23%) were accepted out of 276 submissions received.
June 13, 2011
Luca Chittaro gives invited tutorial on Mobile App Design at ACM EICS 2011. The director of our lab presented the tutorial today at the ACM International Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems. The speech dealt with how to build effective interfaces for mobile apps, with a particular focus on visual aspects.
April 15, 2011
Facing lack of screen space in mobile visualizations. When navigating large information spaces on mobile devices, the small size of the display often causes important content to shift off-screen, greatly increasing difficulty of use. We have thoroughly tested three different techniques to face this problem. Read about our findings in the paper that has just appeared in the Interacting with Computers journal.
March 15, 2011
The most read magazine in Italy (Focus) devotes an article to our research on serious games. In a long article in its March issue, Focus (the most read magazine in Italy) presented some of the results of our research on Serious Games and Training: the EMSAVE system for training medical first responders and the Monster&Gold mobile game for fitness training.
February 28, 2011
Context-aware fitness games for mobile phones. Our latest mobile fitness game employs sensors that detect user's speed and heart rate and adapt gameplay to maximize cardiovascular benefits. Read all about it in the journal paper that has been published by IEEE Pervasive and watch the video demo.
November 29, 2010
HCI Lab releases a public demo of VEX, a 3D software for designing virtual visits and exhibitions. Head on to the download page, try the software, and let us know what you think!
September 30, 2010
HCI Lab presents its new tool for virtual exhibition design at Le Louvre in Paris. The presentation took place in the context of the 11th VAST International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, which selected our contribution as a full paper.
September 10, 2010
Our lab presents two papers at the MOBILE HCI 2010 International Conference. The conference selection process was so strict that only 17% of short papers submissions and only 23% of full papers submissions were accepted. Our two papers deal respectively with communication between medical responders and deaf persons and menu selection for blind users on mobile devices.
June 28, 2010
June 10, 2010
Persuasion through Virtual Reality. This week, at the Persuasive 2010 International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, we have presented our accepted full paper that shows how Virtual Reality can be an effective tool to induce emotions (including anxiety) and change people attitudes towards personal safety topics. The conference selection process was very strict leading to the acceptance of less than a third of the 80 submitted papers.
April 20, 2010
Designing multimodal interfaces for mobile devices. Future interfaces of phones and other mobile devices will be increasingly multimodal. Read Luca Chittaro's introduction and advice on mobile multimodal interfaces in the invited paper just published by Springer's Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces.
March 26, 2010
HCI Lab receives honorary mention at the IEEE Conference on Games for Serious Applications. Our serious game for training medical first responders received the honorary mention as one of the three best full papers of the international conference IEEE VS-GAMES 2010.
November 19, 2009
Easily arranging 3D objects in virtual worlds. Today, at the ACM VRST 2009 Symposium, our lab presents a full paper on the effectiveness of combining a first person and a map view in 3D object arrangement tasks. Our work is one of the 21 full-papers accepted by the conference out of 61 submitted.
September 15, 2009
The director of our lab gives invited tutorial on Mobile Visualization at Mobile HCI 2009. Luca Chittaro presented the tutorial today at the Mobile HCI 2009 international conference in Bonn. The speech dealt with how to build effective visual interfaces on mobile devices and the slides have been made available on the Web.
July 27, 2009
Our lab has presented two papers at the UMAP 2009 International Conference. The conference selection process was strict leading to the acceptance of only 47 research papers out of 125 submitted. Our two papers deal respectively with user modeling of disabled persons for improving emergency medical services and filtering of fitness trail content generated by mobile users.
May 23, 2009
Luca Chittaro delivers keynote speech at IEEE HSI 2009. The director of our lab gave today the keynote speech at the international IEEE conference on Human-System Interaction. The topic of the speech concerned the role of visualization in mobile human-computer interaction.
May 13, 2009
The director of our lab gives keynote speech on Multimodality in the Mobile Context. Luca Chittaro gave the speech today at the international event on Challenges of Engineering Multimodal Interaction, held at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology in Germany. The speech discussed challenges and opportunities for multimodality on mobile devices.
April 29, 2009
Luca Chittaro is invited speaker for the ENEL "Meet the Scientists" initiative.  ENEL is Italy’s largest power company, and Europe’s second listed utility by installed capacity. The event took place today in the city of Livorno. The invited speech dealt with human-computer interaction and computer-mediated communication.
April 10, 2009
Our lab heads large project on advanced emergency medical services for the disabled. Today we made available a web site where you can read about the goals, partners, results of the project, and get the first publications.
March 11, 2009
Two (out of 21) full papers accepted by IEEE VS-GAMES 2009 are from our Lab. The First International IEEE Conference in Serious Games will be held this month in the UK, and the two papers we will be presenting concern respectively a serious game for personal fire safety training and task modeling in serious game design for medical first responders.
September 10, 2008
Luca Chittaro delivers keynote speech at IFIP World Computer Congress. The director of our lab is one of the keynote speakers of the 20th World Computer Congress organized by IFIP. The congress was attended by 2000 participants from 70 countries. The topic of the speech concerned Interaction with Visual Interfaces on Mobile Devices.
September 01, 2008
Our lab presents two different papers at the MOBILE HCI 2008 International Conference.The conference selection process was very strict leading to the acceptance of less than a third of the 210 submitted papers. Our two papers deal respectively with web/map navigation and 3D evacuation instructions on mobile devices.
June 04, 2008
Evacuation support based on location-aware 3D maps. Last week, at the Mobile Response symposium in Bonn, Germany, we presented our mobile system that supports the user in the evacuation of buildings. The system provides the user with evacuation instructions by using 3D representations of the building and determines the position of the user in the building by employing active RFID technology.
March 28, 2008
Maps and web page navigation on mobile devices. Recently, we have investigated a few techniques that support user navigation of maps and web pages on small-screen devices. Read about our findings in the paper that has just appeared in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
March 03, 2008
Wearable Systems for Outdoor Fitness Training. Our lab has proposed a context-aware and user-adaptive wearable system for outdoor fitness training, which exploits position and physiological sensors as well as a 3D virtual trainer to provide users with tailored advice and exercises. You can read the details in the paper that has just appeared in the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine journal, Special issue on Wearable Computing and Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare Applications.
February 04, 2008
Interactive visual analysis of geographic data on mobile devices. Geographic data is often crucial to support users' activities in the field. Our lab has developed a highly interactive interface based on visual dynamic queries that allows users to manage geographic data on mobile devices. Read all about it in the paper that has just appeared in the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.
January 03, 2008
Visual analysis of users' mobile browsing behaviors. Our lab has developed a system that visually highlights various aspects of how users browse an information space on a mobile device. You can read in detail about it in the paper published by IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, and chosen by the magazine as its January/February 2008 Highlight.
October 01, 2007
Navigation support and user differences in 3D Virtual Environments. In a paper that has just appeared in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, we have studied some new navigation aids for 3D Virtual Environments as well as the effects of past user experience with 3D environments on the effectiveness of these aids.
August 13, 2007
Adaptive 3D Educational Virtual Enviroments. Our lab has developed a system, based on a well-known adaptive hypermedia framework, able to create a 3D virtual environment that selects and personalize interactive learning content for users. You can read in detail about it in the paper that has just appeared in the IEEE Intelligent Systems magazine, Special issue on Intelligent Educational Systems.
July 04, 2007
Videogames that adapt to your heart rate. Last week, at the Smartgraphics symposium in Kyoto, Japan, we have presented our videogame architecture that adapts to the player's heart rate (see the video). The system has generated a lot of interest, and the news is being featured by lots of popular Web sites, including Engadget, WiredJoystiqThe Feed, and many others.
April 15, 2007
HCI Lab faculty edit special issue on "Web 3D Technologies for Learning, Education and Training". Luca Chittaro and Roberto Ranon are guest editors of the special issue of the Computers & Education journal on the different aspects of using Web 3D technologies for building learning, educational and training applications.
April 12, 2007
The new Web: 3D, Adaptive, Mobile and Spatial. Read all about state-of-the-art solutions and technologies for creating new Web applications that include 3D, Adaptive and Map-based features in two different invited textbook chapters written by HCI Lab members. One is about Adaptive 3D Web Sites and the other about map-based applications for mobile devices.
December 19, 2006
Visual analysis of people's movements. Our lab has developed a system that traces, visualizes and provides insights on users' movements in virtual as well as real places. You can read in detail about it in the paper that has just appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Special issue on Visual Analytics.
October 26, 2006
The major italian financial newspaper devotes a long article to our MOPET project. In a long article, the Sole 24 Ore newspaper presented today MOPET (Mobile Personal Trainer), our innovative mobile application that assists and guides users in outdoor fitness trails, monitoring life parameters through wireless sensors and teaching fitness exercises by means of a 3D character.
September 15, 2006
Two (out of 20) full papers presented at the MOBILE HCI 2006 International Conference are from our Lab. The conference selection process was very strict leading to the acceptance of only 24% of the submitted full papers. One of our two papers is about mobile fitness applications, the other is about visualizing off-screen objects on mobile.
June 13, 2006
Head of our lab on italian national TV. Luca Chittaro was invited by national channel RAI 2 to present our mobile guides project on a major live show ("Piazza Grande"), where he was interviewed by popular TV host Giancarlo Magalli.
June 05, 2006
Watch the "Visualization in a Mobile World" broadcast on IEE TV. The keynote speech given by Luca Chittaro at IEE ICCSA 2006 in Glasgow can now be freely watched on the IET TV on-line television service. Just go to the IET TV page and click "play broadcast".
May 06, 2006
Virtual earthquake!  We have applied advanced Virtual Reality and simulation techniques to reproduce the effects of the 1976 earthquake that hit the Friuli region in Italy. The project also produced a movie that you can watch on the Web.
May 02, 2006
HCI Lab releases new 3D software for free download. H-Animator is a visual tool for easily modeling animations of virtual humans based on the X3D and H-Anim standards. MobiX3D Player is a software for displaying interactive X3D content on PDAs. [Visit the H-Animator website] [Visit the MobiX3D player website]  
March 11, 2006
Visualizing information on mobile devices. Luca Chittaro writes the first introductory paper about this new exciting topic and is chosen for the Cover Feature of the March issue of IEEE Computer, the flagship magazine of the IEEE Computer Society.
March 02, 2006
HCI Lab launches the new version of its mobile guide at BIT 2006. BIT (International Tourism Exchange) is the world's largest exhibition of Italian products and services for the travel industry, and attracts over 150'000 visitors from about 100 countries every year. The new version of our mobile tourist guide is now available for mobile phones as well as PDAs.
December 02, 2005
Head of our lab interviewed by BusinessWeek. BusinessWeek is the world's largest business magazine. Luca Chittaro was among the experts interviewed for an article about the user's experience in e-commerce.
October 19, 2005
HCI Lab at SMAU 2005. We showcased some of our projects at the 42nd International Exhibition of ICT & Consumer Electronics, that this year attracted 170'000 visitors. Our free immersive simulator of the Frecce Tricolori jet and our mobile guide received significant attention and were featured on TV and newspapers reports about the Exhibition.
September 05, 2005
A successful presence of our Lab at INTERACT 2005, with 3 full papers accepted. The conference is one of the most important and selective HCI events in the world: this year, only 70 full papers have been accepted out of 264 submitted. We will be presenting our latest work on mobile input, mobile guides, and visualization of navigation.
July 26, 2005
Learn to fly an aerobatic jet with our free MB-339 PAN package.  In a joint press conference with Frecce Tricolori (the aerobatic team of the Italian Air Force), the HCI Lab released today a free multi-platform simulation that allows you to learn flying their jet. Watch the video and the screenshots.
June 06, 2005
HCI Lab students place 1st at the Imagine Cup 2005 italian finals. They will represent Italy in the Software Design category at the world finals in Yokohama, Japan, this summer. The Imagine Cup is a Microsoft-sponsored technology competition to let developers showcase their innovation. Our winning students presented a project called TellMe that integrates mobile and 3D technologies to assist users with certain disabilities in communicating.
April 04, 2005
BBC News reports about one of our projects. In a news story about Web3D, BBC News mentions "a project by University of Udine in Italy in which visitors to the city can use their own portable digital-capable machines to download 3D graphics of tourist sites."
March 04, 2005
Two (out of 18) papers accepted at the ACM Web3D 2005 Symposium are from our Lab. One paper is about controlling humanoid characters, the other is about location-aware 3D visualization on mobile devices.
October 14, 2004
A business idea by our lab is selected for the finals of the Italian Innovation Award. Only 3 (out of 95) projects were selected in the regional contest. Our project is named Mobile 3D and includes a detailed business plan for a spin-off company that would deal with innovative exploitation of 3D graphics and mobile devices for tourist support.
August 07, 2004
LET-Web3D Workshop to be held in Udine. The HCI Lab announces the first edition of the Web3D Workshop in Learning, Education and Training, that will be held in Udine September 30-October 1, 2004. For more information, visit the LET-Web3D website.
May 11, 2004
Virtual humans...with personality! We developed a system to give personality traits to 3D virtual characters and make them behave accordingly (as human beings do). The work has been accepted among the very best papers (22% rate of acceptance) of Computer Animation & Social Agents (CASA) 2004 Conference and published in the Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds Journal.
May 02, 2004
Two (out of 22) full papers accepted at the Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI) 2004 Conference are from our Lab. They deal with different HCI aspects of 3D Virtual Environments: one is about  studying users' behaviours in 3D spaces, the other is about navigations aids.
January 07, 2004
HCI Lab helps clinicians in the analysis of medical data. In the last three years, we have worked closely with clinicians to develop a visual data mining system that visualizes large temporal databases in a hemodialysis center. Some of the latest developments of this project are described in the special issue on Visual Data Mining of the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.
September 17, 2003
Mobile HCI 2003 (organized by our lab) concludes successfully. With 122 papers submitted from 26 different countries, and a selection rate of 33% for full papers and 49% for short papers, the fifth edition of the conference featured a very high quality technical program.
February 26, 2003
Fly with the Italian aerobatic team in our latest Web3D production.In a joint press conference with Frecce Tricolori (the aerobatic team of the Italian Air Force), the HCI Lab launched today a 3D Web site that puts you on their jets while they perform amazing aerobatic manouvres.
January 27, 2003
Two (out of 18) papers accepted at the ACM Web3D 2003 Symposium are from our Lab. One paper is about cloth simulation, the other is about intelligent characters.
October 23, 2002
The HCI Lab presents a product at SMAU. The product is a Computer Supported Cooperative Work system for x-ray cristallography experiments, developed in cooperation with Elettra Synchrotron Light Laboratory, Trieste.
September 16, 2002
Mobile HCI 2003 to be held in Udine. The HCI Lab announces the fifth edition of the Mobile HCI Conference, that will be held in Udine in September 2003. For more information, visit the Mobile HCI 2003 web site.
September 13, 2002
The new Web site of the HCI Lab is on line. Have a nice browsing