computing for the human pace

Our Vision

desktop computer

The evolution of the personal computer created a "one-person, one computer" environment, with a strong sense of personal ownership. Advances in networking technology mean we have rapidly moved to a situation where all of our personal computers are networked; we see more and more users accessing computing resources from more than one device. The notion of truly personal computing has moved on to one of sharing; sharing of work, resources, ideas and leisure activities.

This shared nature of the new computing age presents its own special challenges in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Specialised devices have unique interface properties; what looks good on a large screen display will not usually be suitable for a handheld computer, and entering text with a stylus is very different from using the numeric keypad on a cellphone. In an ideal world, these devices would interact seamlessly, and with devices used by others with whom we collaborate. In the real world this is seldom, if ever, the case. Moreover, when sharing with others, the well-established interface styles of the mouse and keyboard, which evolved for personal use, are no longer universally appropriate.

iPAQ handheld

The work of the HCI Group at Waikato is addressing these HCI issues that have arisen from a networked age. We do so with projects ranging from developing new paradigms for shared computing interfaces, to bridging the gap between the (disconnected) Personal Digital Assistant and the (connected) desktop or laptop.

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