T19: Designing new technologies for Universal Access

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, 08:30 – 12:30


Simeon Keates (short bio)

Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Engineering
University of Greenwich, United Kingdom



The Internet of Things is changing how we interact with smart technologies, but is research and design guidance keeping pace with the new developments? The objective of this tutorial is to introduce and explore how interaction science, design theory and anthropometric data need to be considered when designing new technologies to support Universal Access. The focus here is not only on traditional human-computer interaction, but also on different and emerging types of hardware, such as kiosks and robots. Many standard models and assumptions of user behaviour, performance and capabilities are based on young adult populations and consequently do not represent wider, more heterogeneous user groups, such as older adults and people with disabilities. This tutorial will also explore lessons from the past and how they can be used to influence the shape of future technologies.


Content and benefits:

This tutorial will cover the basics and introduce more advanced aspects of user-centered design and universal access. We will explore how they are fundamentally related and also their application in real-world situations, particularly around emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, new computer architectures and next generation robots.

It is widely accepted in principle that user-centred design and universal access are essential for the development of products that are both usable and accessible by the widest possible range of users. However, many new technologies are continuing to be driven by the engineering challenges of the development of the technology rather than consideration of user wants, needs and aspirations.

In this tutorial, we will look at previous attempts to make such technology universally accessible and then look at how to apply those lessons learned to the development of new technologies. The case studies will include the design and evaluation of a wide range of both hardware and software applications, including robots and robotic assistants, kiosks, home automation and artificial intelligence systems.

The benefits for participants will include an understanding of how both software and hardware considerations can influence the design of emerging technologies and their successful uptake.


Target Audience:

The target audience is anyone with an interest in Universal Access, new technologies and the Internet of Things. This tutorial will be relevant for those from both industry and academia or those with an interest in any of the topics covered.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Professor Simeon Keates is Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Engineering and Science and Head of Engineering at the University of Greenwich. He was formerly Chair of HCI and Head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Applied Mathematics at Abertay University and Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, where he lectured in the Design and Digital Communication study line. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he also worked as an Industrial Research Fellow in the Engineering Design Centre.

After leaving Cambridge, he moved to the US and joined the Accessibility Research Group at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center before moving to Boston and working at ITA Software (now part of Google) as a Usability Lead designing interfaces for Air Canada.

Simeon also has an extensive history of consultancy, with clients including The Post Office (Royal Mail), the Social Security Administration, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and Lockheed Martin. His research interests include inclusive design, user-centred design, AI, HCI, robotics, novel computer architectures and machine-learning.