28 April 2015 10:20

Pioneering work to synchronise new technologies with energy supplies – including a device to indicate when to have the greenest cuppa - earned Lancaster University a top honour at the world’s premier conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Researchers in InfoLab21 received a Best Paper Award at the CHI Conference in Seoul, Korea, for their submission: ‘Tiree Energy Pulse: Exploring Renewable Energy Forecasts on the Edge of the Grid’.

“Receiving a Best Paper Award is an outstanding accomplishment, one which identifies the Lancaster University team’s paper as being among the top 1% of all submissions to CHI 2015,” says Head of Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications Professor Jon Whittle.

The paper was one of ten Lancaster University papers accepted for this year’s CHI which put the institution in 12th place globally and fourth in the UK in terms of papers presented at the event.

The Catalyst OnSupply project research team, Will Simm, Maria Angela Ferrario, Adrian Friday, Peter Newman, Stephen Forshaw, Mike Hazas and Alan Dix, worked alongside islanders on Tiree, the outermost of the Inner Hebrides, to investigate technologies for synchronising energy consumption with supply. They developed a number of prototype energy awareness devices to help communities reflect on when energy was available and to promote energy use at ‘greener’ times.

Their paper described the findings from the process of co-developing a local renewable energy forecast display, which they placed in homes to show the immediate and future availability of renewable energy.

The findings of this study have implications for the future where a greater reliance on time-varying energy sources may mean the need to synchronise daily routines with availability of energy. 

Professor Whittle added: “Jason Alexander and his team's work on shape changing displays also received a lot of attention at this year's CHI conference and John Hardy's presentation on the topic was one of the runners-up in the ‘People's Choice’ award for best presentation at the conference.”

Other Lancaster papers accepted for CHI:

HCI, Civic Engagement & Trust
Mike Harding, Bran Knowles, Nigel Davies, Mark Rouncefield  

Crowdsourcing Synchronous Spectator Support: (go on, go on, you're the best)
Franco Curmi, Maria Angela Ferrario, Jon Whittle, Florian Mueller   

Gaze+RST: Integrating Gaze and Multitouch for Remote Rotate-Scale-Translate Tasks
Jayson Turner, Jason Alexander, Andreas Bulling, Hans Gellersen   

Substitutional Reality: Using the Physical Environment to Design Virtual Reality Experiences
Adalberto L. Simeone, Eduardo Velloso, Hans Gellersen   

ShapeClip: Towards Rapid Prototyping with Shape-Changing Displays for Designers
John Hardy, Christian Weichel, Faisal Taher, John Vidler, Jason Alexander   

Exploring Interactions with Physically Dynamic Bar Charts
Faisal Taher, John Hardy, Abhijit Karnik, Christian Weichel, Yvonne Jansen, Kasper Hornbæk, Jason Alexander

Opportunities and Challenges for Data Physicalization
Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, Petra Isenberg, Jason Alexander, Abhijit Karnik, Johan Kildal, Sriram Subramanian, Kasper Hornbæk

Demand in My Pocket: Mobile Devices and the Data Connectivity Marshalled in Support of Everyday Practice
Carolynne Lord, Mike Hazas, Adrian K Clear, Oliver Bates, Rosalind Whittam, Janine Morley, Adrian Friday  

The Royal Corgi: Exploring Social Gaze Interaction for Immersive Gameplay
Melodie Vidal, Remi Bismuth, Andreas Bulling, Hans Gellersen

The Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) CHI conference attracts the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the field of human computer interaction to share ground-breaking research and innovations related to how humans interact with digital technologies.

It presents a highly selective showcase of the very best advances across the disciplines of computer science, cognitive psychology, design, social science, human factors, artificial intelligence, graphics, visualization, multi-media design and other disciplines.