The INIT Lab (the Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology Laboratory) focuses on advanced interaction technologies such as touch, speech, and gesture, especially for children in the context of educational interfaces. INIT Lab projects advance human-computer interaction (HCI) research questions of how users want to interact with these natural modalities, and computer science research questions of how to build recognition algorithms that can understand user input in these ambiguous modalities.
Natural user interaction (NUI) focuses on allowing users to interact with technology through the wide range of human abilities, such as touch, voice, vision, and motion. Children are still developing their cognitive and physical capabilities, creating unique design challenges and opportunities for interacting in these modalities. Research in the INIT Lab both integrates and contributes to research in human-computer interaction, child-computer interaction, multimodal interaction, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and interaction design. We seek to understand children’s expectations and abilities with respect to NUIs, and to use this understanding to design and develop new multimodal NUIs for children in a variety of contexts, including education, healthcare and serious games.