Yi-Chi Liao

Hi, I’m a Ph.D. student working on Computational Interaction in the User Interfaces research group at Aalto University led by Prof. Antti Oulasvirta. Before that, I received my bachelor’s (B.B.A.) and master’s degree (M.B.A.) at National Taiwan University. As a believer of computational methods, my research focus is building future touch interfaces via modeling, controlling, optimization, and simulation.

My previous creations include ThirdHand - a wearable robotic arm generates rich force feedback to the users, EMS Air Guitar - a muscle-based rhythmic music interface, EdgeVib - using a 2x2 vibrotactile array to transfer alphanumeric characters, Dwell+ - augmenting traditional dwell-touch using short vibration ticks, and Outside-In - a visualization technique re-introduces off-screen objects into the main screen as picture-in-picture (PIP) previews. These works have been presented at top-tier conferences, including UIST and Siggraph Asia.

Selected Publications

Dwell+: Multi-Level Mode Selection Using Vibrotactile Cues [UIST’17, 10-page Paper]

This paper presents Dwell+, a method that boosts the effectiveness of typical dwell select by augmenting the passive dwell duration with active haptic ticks which promptly drives rapid switches of modes forward through the user’s skin sensation. Dwell+ enables multi-level dwell select using rapid haptic ticks. To select a mode from a button, users dwell-touch the button until the mode of selection being haptically prompted. Applications demonstrated implementing Dwell+ across different interfaces; ranging from vibration-enabled touchscreens to non-vibrating interfaces. As a leading author of this project, I came up with the main idea, designed the empirical research process, generating the demonstrating applications, implementing partial of the software interfaces and writing the paper.

In Proc. UIST’17, 12-page paper // [Project Page], [Paper], [Short Video], [Full Video].

Outside-In: Visualizing Out-of-Sight Region-of-Interests in a 360 Video Using Spatial Picture-in-Picture Previews
[UIST’17, 11-page Paper]

We propose Outside-In, a visualization technique which re-introduces off-screen ROIs into the main screen as spatialpicture-in-picture (PIP) previews. The geometry of the pre-view windows further encodes the ROIs’ relative directions tothe main screen view, allowing for effective navigation. As a second author, I contributed the idea, designed the usability tests and wrote the paper.

In Proc. UIST’17, 10-page paper // [Project Page], [Paper], [Video].

EdgeVib: Effective Alphanumeric Character Output Using a Wrist-Worn Tactile Display. [UIST’16, 6-page Paper]

Yi-Chi Liao, Yi-Ling Chen, Jo-Yu Lo, Rong-Hao Liang, Liwei Chan, Bing-Yu Chen

“Transferring rich spatialtemporal tactile messages while retaining the recognition rates” has been a major challenge in the development of tactile displays. We present EdgeVib, a set of multistroke alphanumeric patterns based on EdgeWrite. Learning these patterns takes comparable period to learning Graffiti (15min), while the recognition rates achive 85.9% and 88.6% for alphabet and digits respectively. I am the leading author of this project, contributing the main idea, hardware prototyping, study interface implementation, user study design, stats analysis, paper writing and organizing the research team.

In Proc. UIST’16, 7-page paper // [Project Page], [Paper], [Video].

ThirdHand: Wearing a Robotic Arm to Experience Rich Force Feedback. [Siggraph Asia’15 Emerging Technology]

Yi-Chi Liao, Shun-Yao Yang, Rong-Hao Liang, Liwei Chan, Bing-Yu Chen

ThirdHnad is a wearable robotic arm provides 5-DOF force feedback to enrich the mobile gaming experience. Comparing to traditional mounted-on-environment force-feedback devices such as phantom, ThirdHand provides higher mobility due to its wearable form. Also, comparing to the muscle-propelled and gyro-effect solutions, our approach enables more accurate control with stronger forces. As a leading author, I generated the idea, implemented the whole robotic arm, partial software interfaces and wrote the paper.

In Proc. Siggraph Asia’15 Emerging Technology // [Project Page], [Paper], [Video].

Paper Review

IEEE Haptics Symposium: 2020
IEEE Transactions on Haptics: 2019
ACM CHI: 2016-2020
ACM MobileHCI: 2017-2019
ACM TEI: 2017-2018
ACM UbiComp/ISWC: 2017
Augmented Human: 2016-2017

Other Professional Activities

During 2014 to 2016, I’ve been a teaching assistant of Introduction to HCI (lectured by Prof. Rong-Hao Liang and Prof. Bing-Yu Chen), and Computer Architecture (lectured by Prof. Bing-Yu Chen) in National Taiwan University.

I also student volunteered at Siggraph Aisa 2016, and held the biggest HCI workshop in Taiwan, OpenHCI’15 and OpenHCI’16. Recently, I founded and organized the other workshop, HoCuIn’17, to introduce more research-oriented HCI to gruaduate students in Taiwan.