Redesigning Mobile Computing
University of Toronto
October 28, 2010
Olin 107
Lunch will be served at noon.


Advances in computing combined with an increasing dependence on technology in everyday activities have yielded continual increases in the consumption of computational devices. These devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have the potential to offer a variety of automated record-keeping and context-sensitive services for the users. To enhance their utility, my research has focused on 1) the design of novel techniques for interacting with ubicomp technologies, 2) the development of location-aware and context-aware services to enhance the usability and usefulness of ubicomp applications, and 3) studies of not only how people use ubicomp systems, but also their understanding and usage those technologies.

Over the last four years, I have begun to notice that while ubicomp devices offer many benefits to the user, their increased consumption has resulted in problems of sustainability and disposal. In particular, the average consumer continues to consume newer technology for only a short usage lifetime, despite its potential for a longer functional lifetime. I believe there is an opportunity to research how to repurpose technologies that are typically discarded today, extend their usefulness in ways beyond their primary purpose, and minimize the need to produce new hardware. In this talk, I will describe the research themes described above and future directions.

Bio: Khai N. Truong is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. His research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), specifically examining the mutual impact of usability and technical constraints on the design of applications and interaction techniques for novel, off-the-desktop computing systems that may be commonplace in 5-10 years. He received his PhD in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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