I posted an article on the Arduino blog about my presence today at HCI India 2011 where I gave a keynote on the topic of prototyping, creating platforms, and supporting the community to support you as creator. It was an interesting conference where I got introduced not just to the elite in the field in India, but also got the chance to see some good discussions where people looked into the Indian role as a unique way of designing. There were strong claims for abandoning the Bauhaus model, which is really predominant here and moving into something closer to national values and needs.
This conference is strongly supported by companies. Among others ABB, Microsoft Research, Yahoo, Nokia, HP and the Swedish Tobii.
During one of the panels about the future of the Indian UX design, design experts and design executives from different companies were speaking about how they envision their roles in the years to come. They depicted the Indian designer as one with a lack of initiative, just willing to get his task but not assuming other roles in the company. The job market seems to be promising and the schools dedicated to the field of IxD and UX cannot graduate enough people to fulfill the market’s needs. In the end there aren’t many design schools in India.
Quoting myself from my other article:
The other three keynotes went from the very theoretical to the extremely practical. PhD. Mark Billinghurst spoke about the future of Augmented Reality and made some nice demos of the software they are developing at HitLabNZ. PhD. Kari Rönkkö from the Technical University Blekinge (BTH) presented his thoughts around the concept of “Wicked Problems” after designing a whole educational computer system together with ABB. And Prof. M.P. Ranjan, now retired after over 40 years at the National Institute of Design, provoked the audience with his visions on how to approach design thinking and how the educational and value system should be improved in India.
My demo was a walkthrough to the use of ArduinoBT + Processing + Android to conceptualize about the Internet of Things. It worked just great and I had people to program graphical behavior patterns on an Android’s screen by drawing how an LED should fade or a motor should move. I am making a post about this technology that was developed by A. Goransson, D. Sjunnesson and myself during the last month.
I have to add that there was a lot of video tracking going on at HCI India 2011. Tommy from Tobii presented his slideshow by using only the movement of this eyes. Tobii is a Swedish company specialized in eye tracking that has released a prototype of a laptop with Lenovo including this feature. Also I liked very much the approach to social design by Microsoft Research team. I got someone (Ed Cutrell) to rebate my understanding of HCI vs. IxD and I think I got convinced, but I will figure out a way of turning it around.
Tobii’s video is priceless, Tommy was making sure it would work just a couple of hours before the show. I tried to convince him about how useful one of his screens could be for some of the work made at Medea. I couldn’t come with any specific uses since we apply technology when it is needed, but now we have a contact to approach when the time comes.
Image credit: LenP17 CC:BY-NC-SA