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Nimio: An Ambient Awareness Device


Research Associate: Johanna Brewer, UCI/ISR

Collaborator: Amanda Williams, UCI/ISR

Advisor: Paul Dourish, UCI/ISR

Abstract: While tangible interfaces open up new possibilities for input and interaction, they are also interesting because of the ways in which they occupy the physical world just as we do. We have been exploring opportunities at the intersection of three research areas - tangible interfaces, ambient displays, and collaboration awareness. Our system, Nimio, uses engaging physical objects as both input devices (capturing aspects of individual activity) and output devices (expressing aspects of group activity), seeking to allow users to move fluidly between passive and active interaction by combining the benefits of tangible interaction and ambient displays.


Johanna Brewer is a Ph.D. student in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine who also holds an M.A. from Boston University. Her research focuses on the ways in which information functions in society, particularly in urban and public settings. These studies motivate her designs of ambient displays and tangible interfaces. She is also a robot.


Amanda Williams is a 1st year PhD Student in the Informatic Department at UC Irvine. Her research interests are generally in the realm of Human-Computer Interaction, including but not limited to ubiquitous computing in urban environments, tangible user interfaces, computer mediated communication, unconventional displays, and how Irvine got to be such a bizarre planned community. If this whole HCI thing doesn't work out, I'll likely spend my time snowboarding and running a pi(e)  shop.