ACE is an international conference on advancements in the computer entertainment technologies. This year, it is held at Taipei, Taiwan, from 17th to 19th November 2010. It covered a wide range of topics related to entertainment, including:

  • Surface Computing & Tabletop Gaming
  • Affective Computing
  • Sensation
  • Designing Games for Children
  • Interactivity
  • Next-Generation Interfaces
  • Innovative Gaming Tools
  • Interaction Design

Keynote I: Game Over(laid): Augmented Reality and EntertainmentEdit

The first day started off with the keynote speech from Prof. Steven Feiner from Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab of Columbia University. The title is Game Over(laid): Augmented Reality and Entertainment. He first gave the definition of virtual reality and augmented reality. Then he discussed the various techniques on achieving augmented reality, such as optical see-through, video see-through and projection. He also talked about the corresponding devices such as handheld augmented reality display and eyewear augmented reality display devices. Though he explained that people are sensitive to the device put on their head, he also illustrated the advantages of eyewear augmented reality display and argued that it is suitable for their research. Some of the advantages includes:

  • Private
  • Correct field of view
  • Stereo
  • Always on
  • Hands-free

Prof. Feiner then continued to explain the various researches from his lab, which are mostly based on eyewear augmented reality display device. Besides the interesting demostrations of each research, he also shared a few difficulties that they encountered and the corresponding solutions. For example, they utilized the theory behind Redirect Walking (Razzaque, et al., 2001) to prevent collision of devices while multiple agents are interacting within the augmented reality environment.

Finally, Prof. Feiner discussed the benefits of augmented reality and invited us to use Goblin, a Microsoft XNA library they developed, to develop 3D augmented reality and virtual reality researches.

Session I: Surface Computing & Tabletop GamingEdit

This is one of the most eye-attracting sessions, which included two of the best paper awards. Some interesting papers from this session:

ImpAct is a haptic stylus that provides direct feedback for users interacting with the contents within the tabletop computers. It attaches a motor on the back of a regular stylus and dynamically adjust the tip of the stylus to provide the feedback. This paper won the silver award for best paper.

LightTracker is a open source multi-touch toolkit. The main innovations of this toolkit, in comparison to other existing toolkits, are the introduction of pipeline processing and the extensible processing modules to capture, analysis, generate multi-touch events.

Move, Beam, and Check! is a tangible implementation of the optical chess. It combines interactive tabletop display with tangible phicon of optical chess pieces. This paper won the gold award for best paper.

The Music Pattern is a creative tabletop music creation platform. The authors proposed this platform as a common language to explain music to regular end-users who are not familiar with music composition.

Session II: Affective ComputingEdit

Affective Quality of Motion in User interface talks about how motion in user interfaces can effect the emotion of the end-users. The authors proposed four key factors, which are also the principle of animation:

  • Weight
  • Space
  • Time
  • Flow

By adjusting these four key factors of motion, designers can design compelling user experience to the end-users.

Charisma is animation framework explicitly developed for facial animation. It is developed based on the MPEG-4 FA specification. It uses feature points to cover all over the human face, with special emphasis on key areas such as eyes, nose, tongue, and the shape of the head. The authors developed two models to describe the facial animation: facial definition parameters and facial animation parameters. They claimed that their models dramatically reduced the number of polygons to represent the facial animation, but at the same time producing similar quality.

Keynote II: INTERACTION on Tabletop Displays and BeyondEdit

The second day started off with another keynote speech from Prof. Yi-Ping Hung from ivLAB of National Taiwan University. Before he talked about tabletop display, he gave a brief history of HCI in respect to multi-touch display. The concept of intangible display (FogScreen and heliodisplay) was brought up, which I find quite interesting. (One of the papers in later session also proposed a similar concept, Cloud Display.) The importance of multi-resolution display was also emphasized in this history portion.

Next, Prof. Hung went through the various researches that his group had been working on related to tabletop display. One of the main researches was i-m-Top. The research dealt with many obstacles that might give the end-users a negative user experience when interacting with intangible display. One is offering the end-users the experience of augmented reality without the attaching physical markers all over the display. They countered this by projecting infrared (invisible to human eyes) patterns to the surface. Another negative experience that end-users observed was lack of physical and/or visual feedback when interacting with intangible display. Hence they developed pseudo-shadow, which provides additional guidance to the end-users, onto their system.

Finally, Prof. Hung talked about the projects his group is currently working and how to bring their current research results from the tabletop into physical space. One example is the i-m-Space for rehabilitation. Another direction is focusing on multi-user scenario and the corresponding issues, such as visual occlusion.

Session III: SensationEdit

Recommending rides is an interesting research which helps visitors of theme park to optimize their schedules to the attractions within the theme park. Some of the related researches include Fairground: Thrill Laboratory and Bucking Bronco: Adaptive Ride Experiment 'No. 1.

Wearable Projector is a study on increasing the viewability of wearable projectors in various location of the body and in various situations (standing, walking, etc.) It uses multiple projectors to overcome the issue of occlusion. It also suggested supplementing additional sensors onto the mobile projectors, such as accelerometer, to improve the viewability. The authors also conducted evaluation and concluded that the head, shoulder, and chest are the better locations to place projectors.

Session IV: Designing Games for ChildrenEdit

This session included Jecripe, CALSIUM framework, Fantasies in Narration: Participatory design with children, Alberto, and Real World Edutainment. I am not particularly interested in this topic, hence not many useful notes were taken for this session.

Session V: InteractivityEdit

Multi-display environment: How to setup efficiently is using vision feedback (from external camera) to automatically create one large display with multiple smaller displays. Cloud Display uses fog particle to create vortex ring. The ring can travel in the air for short distance with constant speed, hence is suitable as surface for remote display. The author also discussed about extending fog particle into scent particle, which effectively transport scent to distant location.

Keynote III: Social Media, Brands and What It Means to the Gaming CommunityEdit

On the evening of the second day, another keynote speech was given by Mr. Thomas Crampton. The talk emphasize on the ever increasing importance of social media.

Session VI: Next-Generation InterfacesEdit

Animated Paper is combining Pulp-Based Computing from Coelho et al. and shape memory alloy to create animating paper. The authors conducted several experiments to test the various methods to heat up the shape memory alloy, including:

  • Heater
  • Magnifier lens
  • Laser (they end up picking this for their study.)

RoboJockey allows multiple end-users to choreograph robots to perform entertaining actions using multi-touch table and simple visual language. This paper also received the silver award for best paper.

Spatializer Toolkit is a browser extension to enable positional audio within browser. Developers can program the positional audio via JavaScript programming language.

Session VII: Innovative Gaming ToolsEdit

DevilTyper is a user study on the usability of CAPTCHA. However, instead of asking participants to simply typing the CAPTCHA, the authors developed a game that will destroy devils when participants type the CAPTCHA. The game is developed with Flash, which enables the user study to be conducted on-line. Based on the result of the user study, the authors categorized CAPTCHA into several different characteristics. They hope that with these characteristics, future CAPTCHA designers can offer more secure CAPTCHA, but at the same time provide less obtrusive to the end-users.

Session VIII: Interaction DesignEdit

Osaka is a project that discusses alter ego within the virtual environment. It is based on the general perception that people from Osaka are generally considered funny/entertaining. This project exploits the funniness within Osaka people...

Critical Gameplay discussed the concept of "Wait" game, where players are revealed with more details within the gaming environment when they slow down.

Keynote IV: Games User Research: Avoiding the Path Toward Our Collective RuinEdit

The last keynote speech was given by Mr. Randy Pagulayan from Microsoft. He talked about game user research conducted within Microsoft, which included many major titles on the Xbox gaming console. He shared the experience his group encountered over a decade of game user research. He also explained the three focuses on game user research:

  • Researchers
  • Methods
  • Outcomes