Thursday, January 27, 2011

MIX11 Open Call Surface and NUI Sessions

MIX is a great conference that focuses on development, design, and upcoming technology trends. Last year, MIX started an “Open Call for Content” where the general public was invited to submit sessions and the general public voted to decide which sessions would be given actual spots during the conference. The Open Call sessions can be about any topic the community desires to hear and they augment the Microsoft sessions that make up the meat of the conference.

This year Open Call is back and there are 228% increase in proposals! Out of 384 entries, they posted 207 sessions. I read through every single one yesterday and expected to see some great sessions and some mediocre sessions, but to my surprise almost every single session sounds fantastic. MIX11 is going to have some great content.

300x250_Mix11_011011_US_bLast year, I was fortunate enough to be one of 12 MIX10 Open Call sessions. I presented “Developing Natural User Interfaces with Microsoft Silverlight and WPF 4 Touch [and Windows Phone 7]”. (Read my MIX10 recap.) My session was one of three that focused on NUI, multi-touch, or Surface topics.


This year there are 8 9 entries about Surface or NUI and I’m hoping several will be picked. I’m organizing a panel session featuring the Microsoft Surface MVPs, some interesting discussion, and some cool demos. You can vote for up to 10 sessions, so please consider including the Surface MVP panel and any of the other NUI sessions that sound interesting to you in your voting.

The Microsoft Surface MVPs present: Natural User Interfaces, Today and Tomorrow; an interactive discussion and demonstrationJoshua Blake; Neil Roodyn; Dennis Vroegop; Rick Barraza; Bart Roozendaal; Josh Santangelo; Nicolas Calvi

The Natural User Interface (NUI) is a hot topic that generates a lot of excitement, but there are only a handful of companies doing real innovation with NUIs and most of the practical experience in the NUI style of design and development is limited to a small number of experts. The Microsoft Surface MVPs are a subset of these experts that have extensive real-world experience with Microsoft Surface and other NUI devices.This session is a panel featuring the Microsoft Surface MVPs and an unfiltered discussion with each other and the audience about the state of the art in NUI design and development. We will share our experiences and ideas, discuss what we think NUI will look like in the near future, and back up our statements with cutting-edge demonstrations prepared by the panelists involving combinations of Microsoft Surface 2.0, Kinect, and Windows Phone 7.

[Vote for this session here!]

I also want to highlight my InfoStrat colleague Josh Wall’s entry, which should be very interesting.

Microsoft Surface at the Smithsonian – 30 seconds to MagicJosh Wall

How do you design a Microsoft Surface application that creates a magical experience in less than thirty seconds, uses real-world physical objects, and is both fun and educational for kids? That is quite a task, but oh yeah – you need to build seven of these magical applications that are distinct yet connected by a common theme. This was the challenge presented to InfoStrat, a Surface Strategic Partner in Washington DC, by the Smithsonian Institution. This session will explore the design and development process that went into building the innovative physical object interactions for a suite of Microsoft Surface applications used in the “Wonder of Light: Touch and Learn!” exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Josh Wall, director of the InfoStrat Advanced Technology Group, will demonstrate and analyze five different types of physical object interactions that take advantage of the unique vision system in Microsoft Surface. He will also discuss lessons learned from the experience, including designing Surface applications for kids, when to use a linear or non-linear task path, and how to apply Natural User Interface (NUI) concepts to interactive museum exhibits.

[Vote for this session here!]

Here are the other NUI sessions:

Microsoft Surface v2 – designing for the new form factor
Josh Santangelo

Building Really Social Software
Neil Roodyn

Wave, Touch, Pen, Speech, Mouse and Keyboard
Neil Roodyn

How to build a great Microsoft Surface application
Neil Roodyn

How NUI can help to perform complex tasks, like flying a helicopter
Bart Roozendaal

Understanding the Metro design language – from Zune to mobile to Microsoft Surface and beyond
Nathan Moody

[Update 1/27 9:40am: I overlooked the following session! Sorry Davide!]

Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, Multi-touch and Natural User Interfaces
Davide Zordan

There are also many other interesting topics, but I hope you’ll help vote in the NUI and Surface sessions. The MIX content team takes into account the popularity of various topics. (For example, last year they accepted 12 Open Call sessions when they were originally planning only 10.)

Voting is open until midnight PST on February 4th, so lock in your votes now!

P.S. Here is a really nifty pivot viewer for visualizing and filtering the Open Call entries:

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