Katherine Isbister

Katherine Isbister
New York University | NYU · Department of Computer Science and Engineering

About

170
Publications
55,847
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3,869
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Publications

Publications (170)
Presentation
Full-text available
With the evolution of new technology people have been able to connect in new ways and explore novel possibilities. Today organizations are exploring advanced applications and uses of immersive virtual and augmented reality, systems that can be cost effectively applied in their fields. The purpose of this series of talks is to discuss current and fu...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is a growing interest in HCI to envision, design, and evaluate technology-enabled interventions that support users' emotion regulation. This interest stems in part from increased recognition that the ability to regulate emotions is critical to mental health, and that a lack of effective emotion regulation is a transdiagnostic factor for menta...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted processes interaction designers took for granted, challenging some of our most commonplace design practices. Participatory and situated approaches have been impacted the most: where we engaged stakeholders in-person and in-context, during this time we must co-design remotely and in virtual environments. Such a dramat...
Article
In this paper, we present an annotated portfolio of speculative ideas that emerged from a co-design process where we investigated the playful potential of day-to-day mealtime. Our portfolio illustrates the learnings from our participatory engagements: it embodies ours and our participants' ideas of how technology might support increasingly playful...
Chapter
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In recent years, embodiment—the notion that cognition arises not just from the mind, but also through our bodies’ physical and social interactions with the world around us—has become an important concept to enhance the design of educational games and simulations within communities such as Human–Computer Interaction (HCI), games, and learning scienc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is an increasing interest in food within the HCI discipline, with many interactive prototypes emerging that augment, extend and challenge the various ways people engage with food, ranging from growing plants, cooking ingredients, serving dishes and eating together. Grounding theory is also emerging that in particular draws from embodied inter...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social VR research and commercial applications tend to prioritizes approximation of the dynamics of face-to-face encounters. Instead, our approach focuses on new kinds of social affordances only possible in VR scenarios. We argue that the most transformative features of VR (and XR more broadly) may look and feel very different from social rituals w...
Preprint
We present a Research-through-Design case study of the design and development of an intimate-space tangible device perhaps best understood as a socially assistive robot, aimed at scaffolding children's efforts at emotional regulation. This case study covers the initial research device development, as well as knowledge transfer to a product developm...
Conference Paper
In this paper we present MESMER, a work-in-progress tangible conversation tool for playful design. Our work extends the Otherworld Framework (OF) [7] for tangible tools by centering specifically on play as a conversation topic. Here we unpack how early experiments with OF motivated our work and describe the current iteration of the MESMER tool, whi...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the design and evaluation of PIV, a personalizable and inconspicuous vibrotactile breathing pacer. Given the prevalence and adverse impact of anxiety and anxiety disorders, our goal is to develop a technology that helps people regulate their anxiety through paced breathing. We examined two previously unstudied questions: What is an effe...
Conference Paper
Drawing upon the findings and experiences of my team’s Research-through-Design practice, I propose that we as a scholarly community pull together (harder) to steer future technological developments toward putting attention on the experiential space between people, deploying computation toward augmenting physical copresence and collective action. De...
Conference Paper
In this paper we discuss strategies to support our design research agenda of promoting playful engagement within everyday activities and situations. We argue that this agenda is in alignment with the ethos of the third wave of HCI. To support design in this space, we build upon Situated Play Design, an open methodological frame that focuses on unco...
Conference Paper
Despite the growth of Virtual Reality (VR), the design space of collocated social play in VR remains narrow. Here we present Astaire, a collaborative hybrid VR dance game for two players sharing an HTC Vive VR system. The game resulted from a design research process using embodied design methods, and drawing upon concepts in HCI and Play Design, in...
Conference Paper
In response to calls for sense-making in the field of Human-Food Interaction, we offer a systematic review of a subset of HFI works that we call Playful HFI-interventions that use game- or play-inspired mechanisms to add value to food-related experiences. To support our review, we offer a conceptual model of Playful HFI informed by: (i) the 34 publ...
Conference Paper
We propose a Situated Play Design (SPD) workshop aimed at exploring how culture and traditions can guide playful design. Using food as an accessible starting point, we invite scholars from diverse communities to share, analyze, and make creative use of playful traditions, and prototype new and interesting eating experiences. Through hands-on engage...
Conference Paper
We present 'True Colors,' a social wearable prototype designed to augment co-located social interaction among players in a LARP (live action role play). We designed it to enable the emergence of rich social dynamics between wearers and non-wearers. True Colors is Y-shaped, worn around the upper body, and has distinct front and back interfaces to af...
Conference Paper
We present 'True Colors': a social wearable prototype designed to augment co-located social interaction of players in a LARP (live action role play). We designed it to enable the emergence of rich social dynamics between wearers and non-wearers. True Colors is Y-shaped, worn around the upper body, and has front and back interfaces to distinguish be...
Conference Paper
Deployment of wearables for games has attracted the interest of designers and researchers both in academia and industry. However, few of these projects treat wearables as an integral part of the gameplay, often considering them as an extension of the central on-screen experience. While preliminary forays into wearable play show promise, we see a ne...
Article
Full-text available
Background: A common challenge with existing psycho-social prevention interventions for children is the lack of effective, engaging, and scalable delivery mechanisms, especially beyond in-person therapeutic or school-based contexts. Although digital technology has the potential to address these issues, existing research on technology-enabled inter...
Preprint
Full-text available
User involvement is well established in game and play design. But in a time when play design is becoming relevant in domains beyond pure entertainment, and play blends into everyday activity in diverse ways, we need to revisit old, and develop new, user involvement methods. Using a situated perspective and Research through Design, we present Situat...
Conference Paper
Wearables are integrated into many aspects of our lives, yet, we still need further guidance to develop devices that truly enhance in-person interactions, rather than detract from them by taking people's attention away from the moment and one another. The value of this paper is twofold: first, we present an annotated portfolio of 'social wearables'...
Conference Paper
Embodied design methods are gaining popularity among design researchers. They leverage the physical and situated experience of designers to access and better understand present and future situations, humans, and design opportunities. Here, we propose a workshop to learn about, engage with, and discuss larping (live action role playing) as an embodi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the emerging ecology of commercial social VR, avatars that serve to represent individuals within these multi-user virtual worlds are at the heart of the embodied social experience. Current industry approaches to avatars in social VR applications vary widely, and the (sometimes tacit) design knowledge acquired by those who created these platforms...
Conference Paper
Activity in Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research is sky-rocketing across a broad range of disciplinary interests and concerns. The dynamic and heterogeneous nature of this emerging field presents a challenge to scholars wishing to critically engage with prior work, identify gaps and ensure impact. It also challenges the formation of community. We...
Preprint
Full-text available
Activity in Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research is sky-rocketing across a broad range of disciplinary interests and concerns. The dynamic and heterogeneous nature of this emerging field presents a challenge to scholars wishing to critically engage with prior work, identify gaps and ensure impact. It also challenges the formation of community. We...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Commercial social VR applications represent a diverse and evolving ecology with competing models of what it means to be social in VR. Drawing from expert interviews, this paper examines how the creators of different social VR applications think about how their platforms frame, support, shape, or constrain social interaction. The study covers a rang...
Conference Paper
Vulnerability is a common experience in everyday life and is frequently perceived as a flaw to be excised in technology design. Yet, research indicates it is an essential aspect of wholehearted living among others. In this paper, we present the design and deployment of 'True Colors', a novel wearable device intended to support social interaction in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social closeness is important for an individual's health and well-being, and this is especially difficult to maintain over a distance. Games can help with this, to connect and strengthen relationships or create new ones by enabling shared playful experiences. The demo proposed is a game we designed called 'In the Same Boat', a two-player game inten...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With the rise of live streaming and esports in recent years, it becomes increasingly important for the HCI community to understand this phenomenon. The organizers encourage people to submit papers with novel interfaces they wish to explore in a live streaming context. In this workshop, participants will discuss different facets of the live streamin...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a game-like experience that translates tactile input into text, which captures the emotional qualities of that touch. We describe the experience and the system that generates it: a plush toy instrumented with pressure sensors, a machine learning method that acquires a mapping from touch data into a feature vector of affect value...
Preprint
BACKGROUND A common challenge within psychiatry and prevention science more broadly is the lack of effective, engaging, and scale-able mechanisms to deliver psycho-social interventions for children, especially beyond in-person therapeutic or school-based contexts. Although digital technology has the potential to address these issues, existing resea...
Article
Interventions that help children develop protective factors against mental health disorders are an inherently social endeavour, relying on a number of actors from within the family as well as the school context. Little work thus far in CSCW and HCI has examined the potential of technology to support or enhance such interventions. This paper provide...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interventions that help children develop protective factors against mental health disorders are an inherently social endeavour, relying on a number of actors from within the family as well as the school context. Little work thus far in CSCW and HCI has examined the potential of technology to support or enhance such interventions. This paper provide...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fidgeting involves interacting with objects using repetitive hand movements. Before you can study its effects, you must first study the objects with which people choose to fidget. We present the findings of our five-phase three-month study with 28 children, 24 parents, and 2 teachers examining fidget material qualities and inherent interactions chi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While conducting a review of food-related technology research, we discovered that activity in this area is skyrocketing across a broad range of disciplinary interests and concerns. The dynamic and heterogeneous nature of the research presents a challenge to scholars wishing to critically engage with prior work, identify gaps and ensure impact. In r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The emerging ecology of commercial social VR currently includes a diverse set of applications and competing models of what it means to be social in VR. This study maps a slice of this ecology, comparing and contrasting ways different applications frame, support, shape, or constrain social interaction. We deploy a method of design-oriented autobiogr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While recent work has begun to evaluate the efficacy of educational programming games, many common design decisions in these games (e.g., single player gameplay using touchpad or mouse) have not been explored for learning outcomes. For instance, alternative design approaches such as collaborative play and embodied interaction with tangibles may als...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we propose that game design strategies and theories can be useful tools for supporting the design of innovative socio-technical systems aimed at supporting social co-presence. We support this proposal with an annotated portfolio of a series of research prototype games that investigate sensor affordances and configurations to sustain a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Designing wearable technology that supports physical and social engagement in a collocated setting is challenging. In this research, we reached out to an expert community of crafters of social experiences: larpers (live action role players). Larpers and larp designers have a longstanding tradition of designing and making use of a variety of element...
Conference Paper
Here we present a social wearables prototype, i.e. a wearable that augments collocated social interaction: the Lågom. This design is meant to support people to be aware of and better regulate their verbal participation in group discussions. Lågom takes the shape of a colorful, bulky and funny looking flower that senses the wearer's speaking and res...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Firefly is a wearable designed to encourage the physical and emotional connection of players of a larp (live action role play game). It is worn as a bracelet whose color changes depending to their connection to another Firefly. This wearable design reflects the positive personal and emotional impact that casual and deeper social interactions ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion regulation in the wild (ER-in-the-wild) is an important grand challenge problem of increasing focus, and is hard to approach effectively with point solutions. We provide HCI researchers and designers thinking about ERin- the-wild with an ER-in-the-wild system architecture derived from mHealth, the Emotion Regulation Process Model (PM), and...
Conference Paper
The Games-and-Play community has thrived at ACM SIGCHI with a consistent increase in games- and play-related submissions across research papers, workshops, posters, demos, and competitions. The community has attracted a significant number of academic researchers, students, and practitioners to CHI conferences in recent years. CHI 2018 is being held...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we describe a comparative analysis of several emotional reporting techniques for assessing gameplay experience. We compared newer feedback methods, such as the Sensual Evaluation Instrument (SEI) and recent tools for capturing physiological data, with more traditional techniques such as think-aloud, the Immersive Experience Questionn...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present an exploration of e-textile/soft materials that can be used to capture fidget traces, while providing the touch sensations that fidgeters report seeking out in everyday fidget objects [3,4,5]. We created two soft-bodied "sampler" objects with a range of smart fidgeting affordances, which we describe in this paper, along with a general ou...
Article
Within Entertainment Computing, games research has grown to be its own area, with numerous publication venues dedicated to it. As this area evolves, it is fruitful to examine its overall development—which subcommunities and research interests were present from the start, which have come and gone, and which are currently active—to better understand...
Article
Full-text available
A set of prominent designers embarked on a research journey to explore aesthetics in movement-based design. Here we unpack one of the design sensitivities unique to our practice: a strong first person perspective—where the movements, somatics and aesthetic sensibilities of the designer, design researcher and user are at the forefront. We present an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent work has highlighted a notable divide in communication and collaboration between technical and social science/humanities disciplines within games research. In order to provide deeper insight around this apparent separation and underlying difference in epis-temic cultures, we interviewed experts from various communities within games research....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While there are common design decisions in existing games for teaching Computer Science (single player puzzle based games for the touchpad/keyboard and mouse), recent work has suggested that alternative approaches such as collaborative play and physically embodied designs may also provide important benefits to learners. In order to explore how maki...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present All the Feels, a tool that provides an overlay of biometric and webcam-derived data onto the interface of the popular video game streaming service, Twitch. This overlay provides visualization of heart rate, skin conductance, and facial emotion recognition. It is intended to enhance the spectator experience and improve stre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the last decade, there has been an increasing interest in supporting social play through the design of collocated digital games, alongside efforts to better understand social-physical modes of play. In this paper, we present relevant insights from a well-established gaming community, the larp (Live Action Role Play) community. This community...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Computer Science (CS) and related skills such as programming and Computational Thinking (CT) have recently become topics of global interest, with a large number of programming games created to engage and educate players. However, there has been relatively limited work to assess 1) the efficacy of such games with respect to critical educational fact...
Conference Paper
Movement-based interaction design is increasingly popular, with application domains ranging from dance, sport, gaming to physical rehabilitation. In a workshop at CHI 2016, a set of prominent artists, game design-ers, and interaction designers embarked on a research journey to explore what we came to refer to as "aesthetics in soma-based design". I...
Conference Paper
Typically wearable devices are conceived of and constructed as stand-alone, individually based technologies. However, in practice wearables become part of the social context and ecology of overall device use. We present a strong concept for design: Interdependent Wearables (for play): wearables designed to require shared attention and mutual awaren...