Augmented Human Lab

Suranga Nanayakkara: Humanizing technology

As technologies become more pervasive and precise, novel smart devices increasingly permeate our everyday activities. However, the interfaces exposed by these new ‘smart things’ limit both human-computer and human-human interaction to a very narrow and unoptimized manner. Either we spend significant time figuring out these ‘smart’ technologies or the way we use them disconnects us from physical reality. This needs to change!

Our vision is to Humanize the Technology: design intelligent human computer interfaces that learn and adapt to us instead of the other way around.

We are a small, unique team of interdisciplinary experimenters. Our team works hard to craft meaningful, beautiful experiences with technology. Specifically, we aim to foster smart, new and stunning experiences that change the way people live and experience the world. Examples include projects such as “FingerReader”, that allows blind users to access information simply by pointing at objects and asking questions; “Muss-Bits”, that allows deaf users to ‘feel’ music; “GymSoles”, a smart insole that enables users to perform exercises with the correct body posture; and “Sparsh”, that enables users to move digital media between devices by simply grabbing them into their hands. This ranges from understanding real-life contexts in which technologies function, and understanding where technologies are not only exciting or novel but have a significant impact on the way people live.