The NiCE Board Tangible Palette
The NiCE Board Tangible Palette



NiCE (Natural user Interfaces for Collaborative Environments) is one out of 14 Austrian Research Studios which has been accepted. The studio will start inOctober 1, 2008. For the next 3 years we will focus on novel large surfaces andnew interaction techniques which are going to be embedded in our daily-life environment (e.g. living room, conference room etc.). We will primarily focus on new interaction methods and build new hardware.

The research goal is to design, develop, and evaluate natural user interfaces for collaborative environments that will enable everyone, not just experts, to use our interactive systems. Thus, the focus is on creating natural systems and interfaces that increase users’ productivity. There are four main thrusts to our research:

  • The first is designing and developing interactive surfaces. We have developed already large interactive tables and whiteboards, which were presented on several high quality academic conferences. In particular, we are developing pen-based tracking possibilities for very large surfaces.  We presented our results for both top-projection and rear-projection surfaces. The goal here is to embed these initial ideas in daily-life objects.
  • Secondly, our work introduces novel graphical user interfaces and rendering methods for non-traditional displays focusing on the problems of large interactive displays.  Our current research addresses the lack of suitable interfaces and associated software applications for these systems.  Our core areas of expertise are visualization and interaction. Therefore, we are working on visualization techniques that help users view and interact with large surfaces.
  • Thirdly, we present new interaction techniques and develop adequate applications. Our work focuses on interaction metaphors that help users interact with large display systems.
  • Fourthly, we evaluate natural user interfaces.  Our research will also improve our understanding of how interactive wall and tabletop systems can be effectively utilized in the context of complex, time-critical task domains.


hallerngvOur research follows a human-centered design approach. This begins with extensive software prototyping grounded in our investigations of task and group interactions. Early user evaluation will then occur using discount usability methods (e.g., cognitive walkthrough, heuristic evaluation). These methods involve user-performing representative task scenarios using the prototype, looking for potential design flaws. Formal user testing will then occur. Finally, the technology will be refined based on the user testing results.

NiCE will be supported by FFG and by the following partners: AMS Research (Austria), Nortel (Canada, USA),  RTT (Germany), Sony DADC (Austria), Team7 (Austria), voestalpine group-IT (Austria). Moreover, the following companies expressed their interest to support this project as well: vodafone Group R&D (Germany). If you have a passion for this topic or if you are interested in joining the team, please send an email to us.

NiCE Projects

NiCE Discussion RoomNiCE BookFLUXCRISTALOcclusion-aware  MenuAnoto Simple LoginNiCE Formula Editor

Scientific Publications

T. Seifried, C. Rendl, M. Haller, and S. D. Scott, 2012.
Regional Undo/Redo Technique for Large Interactive Surfaces,” in CHI 12: Proceedings of the 30th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, 2012.

J. Leitner and M. Haller, 2011.
Geckos: Combining Magnets and Pressure Images to Enable New Tangible-object Design and Interaction,” in CHI 11: Proceedings of the 29th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, 2011.

T. Seifried, H. Jetter, M. Haller, and H. Reiterer, 2011.
Lessons Learned from the Design and Implementation of Distributed Post-WIMP User Interfaces,” in to appear in Accepted Papers of Distributed User Interfaces 2011 (a CHI 2011 Workshop), 2011.

J. Leitner, C. Rendl, F. Perteneder, A. Gokcezade, T. Seifried, M. Haller, R. Zeleznik, and A. Bragdon, 2010.
NiCE formula editor,” in SIGGRAPH 10: ACM SIGGRAPH 2010 Talks, New York, NY, USA, 2010, pp. 1-1.

M. Haller, J. Leitner, T. Seifried, J. Wallace, S. Scott, C. Richter, P. Brandl,  A. Gokcezade and S. Hunter, 2010.
The NiCE Discussion Room: Integrating Paper and Digital Media to Support Co-Located Group Meetings,” in CHI 10: Proceedings of the eight annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 2010.

P. Brandl, C. Richter, and M. Haller, 2010.
NiCEBook – Supporting Natural Note Taking,” in CHI 10: Proceedings of the eight annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 2010.

J. Leitner, J. Powell, P. Brandl, T. Seifried, M. Haller, B. Dorray, and P. To, 2009.
Flux: a tilting multi-touch and pen based surface,” in CHI EA 09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, New York, NY, USA, 2009, pp. 3211-3216.

T. Seifried, M. Haller, S. D. Scott, F. Perteneder, C. Rendl, D. Sakamoto, and M. Inami, 2009.
CRISTAL: Design and Implementation of a Remote Control System Based on a Multi-touch Display,” in The ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009, 2009, pp. 37-44.

P. Brandl, J. Leitner, T. Seifried, M. Haller, B. Doray, and P. To, 2009.
Occlusion-aware menu design for digital tabletops,” in CHI EA 09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, New York, NY, USA, 2009, pp. 3223-3228.

T. Seifried, C. Rendl, F. Perteneder, J. Leitner, M. Haller, D. Sakamoto, J. Kato, M. Inami, and S. D. Scott, 2009.
CRISTAL, control of remotely interfaced systems using touch-based actions in living spaces,” in SIGGRAPH 09: ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 Emerging Technologies, New York, NY, USA, 2009, pp. 1-1.

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