If you were at last year’s Blur conference, you may have noticed something that I noticed: the massive gap between research and commercialization in next-gen HCI. There is *so* much interesting stuff going on in labs and R&D environments, and very, very little of that making its way into a startup environment that leads to any real commercialization of that technology.
In that context, I’ve been sketching out a mission for Blur: building bridges over that chasm.
I think we begin to do that in several ways: One, which I highlighted yesterday, is via vehicles like the Kinect Accelerator, that helps to give students and entrepreneurs a jump-start into forming a company. Second, is through engaging areas of development that are being led by developers and hackers (Kinect, 3D printing, Do-It-Yourself Robotics, etc) – because these “hobbyists” and “amateurs” (quotes for sarcasm) tend to focus much more on brining something “to market” (i.e, releasing something usable), than the work going on in labs (which focuses much more on engineering perfection; btw, that’s not a knock on labs or research – just an observation). Lastly, I think you want to highlight actual commercial installations.
By going through those three phases (startups, developers, commercial installations), you can begin to help folks on both sides of the research-commercialization gap see how they cross (and it is bi-directional).
And so, in that context, I’m very pleased to announce Blur’s first two keynotes.
Joong Han Lee is the founder of Studio Homunculus, and he is doing work that is head-turning. I first saw Joon’s work around “haptic intelligentsia” a few months ago, and I’m very pleased that he’s agreed to come to Blur to speak.
I’ll do an incredibly bad job of explaining haptic intelligentsia — it is a project seeking to bring tactile experience to virtual objects via rapid prototyping — so, it’s really just easier if you check out the video yourself.
The second confirmed keynote is by Scott Snibbe. Scott has been implementing some incredibly interesting interactive mass media experiences for people like Bjork and James Cameron’s Avatar museum exhibit. Scott’s keynote is entitled, “Exploring the Universe through Interactive Mass Media,” and here’s how he describes the talk:
“Scott Snibbe will present selections from twenty years of interactive exhibits, interactive art, and interactive music. He will show many experiences that draw inspiration from science to create unabashedly emotional, social, and physical entertainment, including recent work creating the first app album with Björk: Biophilia; and the recent interactive exhibits for James Cameron’s movie Avatar. He will discuss the educational and societal benefits of interactivity; and the joys, challenges, and research involved in the creation and distribution of interactive media. As part of the lecture, the audience is invited to critically discuss the intersection of the arts and entertainment with science.”
Two bricks in the bridge across the gap. I really hope that you’ll come glimpse the future at Blur.