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July 2nd - 3rd (Commerce Building, 2nd level; Room 2.25)

Programme (PDF)

Keynote Speakers:

Mark Billinghurst - Director - HIT Lab NZ

Photo Tim Nixon
Professor Mark Billinghurst is a researcher developing innovative computer interfaces that explore how virtual and real worlds can be merged. Director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) at the University of Canterbury, he has produced over 200 technical publications and presented demonstrations and courses at a wide variety of conferences. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and conducts research in Augmented and Virtual Reality, and Mobile User Interfaces. He has previously worked at ATR Research Labs, Nokia, British Telecom and the MIT Media Laboratory. One of his research projects, the MagicBook, was winner of the 2001 Discover award for best Entertainment application.
Natural Interfaces for Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) interfaces involve the seamless overlay of virtual information on the real world, and have been researched since the 1960's. However until recently most AR interfaces required the use of special input devices and we often not intuitive to use. In this talk we describe how new technology has enabled the development of more natural AR interaction. Current interfaces allow the use of natural gesture, speech and body input to interact with AR content in a very intuitive way. Examples will be shown from research being conducted at the HIT Lab NZ and other places, and directions for future research will be presented.

Tim Nixon - Director - Runaway

Photo Tim Nixon
For the last 8 years Tim has specialized in the design and production of games inspired by the real world. From training simulations to online virtual retail spaces and interactive documentaries, his passion has been the creation of games that improve our lives and understanding of the world. In his current role at Runaway (the games division of documentary film making company NHNZ), he creatively directs games inspired by the natural world in partnership with brands like National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund. Runaway's games for Facebook and iPhone have been played by over a million people, each telling a unique story about a natural wonder.
Better Living through Games
We traditionally see games as a way to leave the real world behind, but to confine them to a purely escapist medium would betray their potential to make the world a better place. From training simulations, to "gamification" and even the appearance of history within blockbuster console titles, we're seeing games become more relevant to everyday people by coupling themselves with facts, insights, and lessons that effect our life outside of the game. This talk will review the development of this practice and give some practical takeaways by covering:

Accepted Demonstrations