I design and develop interactions and technologies that embrace digital and physical experiences. I am interested in tools, techniques and devices that enable new interaction concepts for the augmentation and empowerment of the human senses. The research projects are from exciting times and inspiring collaborations at different research labs and institutions, including MIT, Columbia University, University of California, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), and Microsoft Research.

Research Projects » Publications » Popular Press » Google Scholar »
Alex Olwal, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Google
Research Affiliate, MIT Media Lab
Affiliate Faculty, KTH
olwal [at] media.mit.edu
Alex Olwal

Publications
2017
document to come shiftIO: Reconfigurable Tactile Elements for Dynamic Affordances and Mobile Interaction. Strasnick, E., Yang, J., Tanner, K., Olwal, A., and Follmer, S.
To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017.
document to come Zensei: Embedded, Multi-electrode Bioimpedance Sensing for Implicit, Ubiquitous User Recognition. Sato, M., Puri, R., Olwal, A., Ushigome, Y., Franciszkiewicz, L., Chandra, D., Poupyrev, I., and Raskar, R.
To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017.
document to come WatchThru: Expanding Smartwatch Displays with Mid-air Visuals and Wrist-worn Augmented Reality. Wenig, D., Schöning, J., Olwal, A., Oben, M., and Malaka, R.
To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017.
document to come StretchEBand: Enabling fabric-based interactions through Rapid Fabrication of Textile Stretch Sensors. Vogl, A., Parzer, P., Babic, T., Leong, J., Olwal, A., and Haller, M.
To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017.
document to come SkinMarks: Enabling Interactions on Body Landmarks Using Conformal Skin Electronics. Weigel, M., Nittala, A., Olwal, A., and Steimle, J.
To appear in Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Denver, CO, May 6-11, 2017.
2016
pdf proCover: Sensory Augmentation of Prosthetic Limbs Using Smart Textile Covers. Leong, J. Parzer, P., Perteneder, F., Babic, T., Rendl, C., Vogl, A., Egger, H., Olwal, A., and Haller, M.
Proceedings of UIST 2016 - Best Paper Award (Top 1%) (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Tokyo, Japan, Oct 16-19, 2016, pp. 335-346.
pdf FlexTiles: A Flexible, Stretchable, Formable, Pressure Sensitive, Tactile Input Sensor. Parzer, P., Probst, K., Babic, T., Rendl, C., Vogl, A., Olwal, A., and Haller, M.
CHI 2016 Extended Abstracts (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), San Jose, CA, May 7-12, 2016, pp. 3754-3757.
2015
pdf Zensei: Augmenting Objects with Effortless User Recognition Capabilities through Bioimpedance Sensing. Sato, M., Puri, R., Olwal, A., Chandra, D., Poupyrev, I., and Raskar, R.
UIST 2015 Adjunct Proceedings (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Charlotte, NC, Nov 8-11, 2015, pp. 41-42.
pdf Shape Displays: Spatial Interaction with Dynamic Physical Form. Leithinger, D., Follmer, S., Olwal, and Ishii, H.
CG&A 2015 (IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 35, no 5), Sep-Oct, 2015, pp. 417-426.
pdf SpecTrans: Versatile Material Classification for Interaction with Textureless, Specular and Transparent Surfaces. Sato, M., Yoshida, S., Olwal, A., Shi, B., Hiyama, A., Tanikawa, T., Hirose, M., Raskar, R.
Proceedings of CHI 2015 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Seoul, South Korea, Apr 18-23, 2015, pp. 2191-2200.
2014
pdf T(ether): Spatially-Aware Handhelds, Gestures and Proprioception for Multi-User 3D Modeling and Animation. Lakatos, D., Blackshaw, M., Olwal, A., Barryte, Z., Perlin, K., and Ishii, H.
Proceedings of SUI 2014 (ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction), Honolulu, HI, Oct 4-5, 2014, pp. 90-93.
pdf Physical Telepresence: Shape Capture and Display for Embodied, Computer-mediated Remote Collaboration. Leithinger, D., Follmer, S., Olwal, A., and Ishii, H.
Proceedings of UIST 2014 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Honolulu, HI, Oct 5-8, 2014, pp. 461-470.
2013
pdf inFORM: Dynamic Physical Affordances and Constraints through Shape and Object Actuation. Follmer, S., Leithinger, D., Olwal, A., Hogge, A., and Ishii, H.
Proceedings of UIST 2013 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), St Andrews, UK, Oct 8-11, 2013, pp. 417-426.
pdf Scanners and Drillers: Characterizing Expert Visual Search through Volumetric Images. Drew, T., Vo, M., Olwal, A., Jacobson, F., Seltzer, S., and Wolfe, J.
JOV 2013 (Journal of Vision, Vol. 13, no 10.), Aug 6, 2013.
pdf Cloud Rhymer: Prototype Demo and Intervention Proposal. Robert, D., Schmitt, P., and Olwal, A.
Proceedings of IDC 2013 (International Conference on Interaction Design and Children), New York, NY, Jun 24-27, 2013, pp. 507-510.
pdf Sublimate: State-Changing Virtual and Physical Rendering to Augment Interaction with Shape Displays. Leithinger, D., Follmer, S., Olwal, A., Luescher, S., Hogge, A., Lee, J., and Ishii, H.
Proceedings of CHI 2013 - Best Paper Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%) (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Paris, France, Apr 27-May 2, 2013, pp. 1441-1450.
pdf SpaceTop: Integrating 2D and Spatial 3D Interactions in a See-through Desktop. Lee, J., Olwal, A., Ishii, H., and Boulanger, C.
Proceedings of CHI 2013 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Paris, France, Apr 27-May 2, 2013, pp. 189-192.
2012
pdf Multimodal Motion Guidance: Techniques for Adaptive Dynamic Feedback. Schönauer, C., Fukushi, K., Olwal, A., Kaufmann, H., and Raskar, R.
Proceedings of ICMI 2012 (ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction), Santa Monica, CA, Oct 22-26, 2012, pp. 133-140.
pdf Jamming User Interfaces: Programmable Particle Stiffness and Sensing for Malleable and Shape-Changing Devices. Follmer, S., Leithinger, D., Olwal, A., Cheng, N., and Ishii, H.
Proceedings of UIST 2012 - Best Paper Award (Top 1%) (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Cambridge, MA, Oct 7-10, 2012, pp. 519-528.
pdf Computational Retinal Imaging via Binocular Coupling and Indirect Illumination. Lawson, E., Boggess, J., Khullar, S., Olwal, A., Wetzstein, G., and Raskar, R.
SIGGRAPH 2012 Talks (International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques), Los Angeles, CA, Aug 5-9, 2012.
pdf SpeckleEye: Gestural Interaction for Embedded Electronics in Ubiquitous Computing. Olwal, A., Bardagjy, A., Zizka, J., and Raskar, R.
CHI 2012 Extended Abstracts (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Austin, TX, May 5-10, 2012, pp. 2237-2242.
2011
pdf Gestural 3D Interaction with a Beating Heart: Simulation, Visualization and Interaction. Ioakeimidou, F., Ericson, E., Spühler, J., Olwal, A., Forsslund, J., Jansson, J., Sallnäs Pysander, E.-L., and Hoffman, J.
Proceedings of SIGRAD 2011 (Swedish Chapter of Eurographics Conference), Stockholm, Sweden, Nov 17-18, 2011, pp. 93-97.
pdf SpeckleSense: Fast, Precise, Low-cost and Compact Motion Sensing using Laser Speckle. Zizka, J., Olwal, A., and Raskar, R.
Proceedings of UIST 2011 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Santa Barbara, CA, Oct 16-19, 2011, pp. 489-498.
pdf Design and Evaluation of Interaction Technology for Medical Team Meetings. Olwal, A., Frykholm, O., Groth, K., and Moll, J.
Proceedings of INTERACT 2011 (IFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Lisbon, Portugal, Sep 5-9, 2011, pp. 505-522.
pdf 3D Visualization and Interaction with Spatiotemporal X-ray Data to Minimize Radiation in Image-guided Surgery. Ioakeimidou, F., Olwal, A., Nordberg, A., and von Holst, H.
Proceedings of CBMS 2011 (International Symposium on Computer-based Medical Systems), Bristol, UK, Jun 27-30, 2011.
pdf OldGen: Mobile Phone Personalization for Older Adults. Olwal, A., Lachanas, D., and Zacharouli, E.
Proceedings of CHI 2011 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Vancouver, BC, May 7-12, 2011, pp. 3393-3396.
pdf Interaction and Rendering Techniques for Handheld Phantograms. Ericson, F., and Olwal, A.
CHI 2011 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Vancouver, BC, May 7-12, 2011, pp. 1339-1343.
2010
pdf Tangible Interfaces using Handheld Augmented Reality. Rojtberg, P., and Olwal, A.
Proceedings of SIGRAD 2010 (Swedish Chapter of Eurographics Conference), Västerås, Sweden, Nov 25-26, 2010, pp. 17-26.
2009
pdf Augmenting Surface Interaction through Context-sensitive Mobile Devices. Olwal, A.
Proceedings of INTERACT 2009 (IFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), Uppsala, Sweden, Aug 24-28, 2009, pp. 336-339.
pdf Unobtrusive Augmentation of Physical Environments: Interaction Techniques, Spatial Displays and Ubiquitous Sensing. Olwal, A.
Doctoral Thesis, Jun 5, 2009.
pdf Spatially Aware Handhelds for High-Precision Tangible Interaction with Large Displays. Olwal, A., and Feiner, S.
Proceedings of TEI 2009 (International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction), Cambridge, UK, Feb 16-18, 2009, pp. 181-188.
2008
pdf Unencumbered 3D Interaction with See-through Displays. Olwal, A.
Proceedings of NordiCHI 2008 (Nordic Conference on Human Computer Interaction), Lund, Sweden, Oct 18-22, 2008, pp. 527-530.
pdf SurfaceFusion: Unobtrusive Tracking of Everyday Objects in Tangible User Interfaces. Olwal, A., and Wilson, A.
Proceedings of GI 2008 (Graphics Interface), Windsor, Ontario, May 28-30, 2008, pp. 235-242.
pdf Rubbing and Tapping for Precise and Rapid Selection on Touch-Screen Displays. Olwal, A., Feiner, S., and Heyman, S.
Proceedings of CHI 2008 - Best Paper Honorable Mention Award (Top 5%) (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Florence, Italy, Apr 5-10, 2008, pp. 295-304.
pdf Spatial Augmented Reality on Industrial CNC machines. Olwal, A., Gustafsson, J., and Lindfors, C.
Proceedings of SPIE 2008 Electronic Imaging (Vol. 6804, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008), San José, California, Jan 27-31, 2008.
pdf Consigalo: Multi-user, Face-to-face Interaction on an Immaterial Display. Olwal, A., DiVerdi, S., Rakkolainen, I., and Höllerer, T.
Proceedings of INTETAIN 2008 (2nd International Conference on Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment), Cancun, Mexico, Jan 8-10, 2008.
pdf An Immaterial Pseudo-3D Display with 3D Interaction. DiVerdi, S., Olwal, A., Rakkolainen, I., and Höllerer, T.
3D TV Book (Three-Dimensional Television: Capture, Transmission, and Display), Springer, Heidelberg, 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-72531-2.
2007
pdf LUMAR: A Hybrid Spatial Display System for 2D and 3D Handheld Augmented Reality. Olwal, A., and Henrysson, A.
Proceedings of ICAT 2007 (International Conference on Artificial Reality and Teleexistence), Esbjerg, Denmark, Nov 28-30, 2007, pp. 63-70.
pdf The Audiator: A Device-Independent Active Marker for Spatially Aware Displays. Olwal, A.
SIGGRAPH 2007 Posters (International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques), San Diego, CA, Aug 5-9, 2007.
2006
pdf LightSense: Enabling Spatially Aware Handheld Interaction Devices. Olwal, A.
Proceedings of ISMAR 2006 (IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality), Santa Barbara, CA, Oct 22-25, 2006, pp. 119-122.
pdf An Immaterial, Dual-sided Display System with 3D Interaction. Olwal, A., DiVerdi, S., Candussi, N., Rakkolainen, I., and Höllerer, T.
Proceedings of IEEE VR 2006 (IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2006), Alexandria, VA, Mar 25-29, 2006, pp. 279-280.
pdf A Novel Walk-through 3D Display. DiVerdi, S., Rakkolainen, I., Höllerer, T., and Olwal, A.
Proceedings of SPIE 2006 Electronic Imaging (Vol. 6055, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XIII), San José, CA, Jan 15-18, 2006, pp. 428-437.
2005
pdf POLAR: Portable, Optical see-through, Low-cost Augmented Reality. Olwal, A., and Höllerer, T.
Proceedings of VRST 2005 (ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality and Software Technology), Monterey, CA, Nov 7-9, 2005, pp. 227-230.
pdf Immersive Mixed-Reality Configuration of Hybrid User Interfaces. Sandor, C., Olwal, A., Bell, B., and Feiner, S.
Proceedings of ISMAR 2005 (IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality), Vienna, Austria, Oct 5-8, 2005, pp. 110-113.
pdf ASTOR: An Autostereoscopic Optical See-through Augmented Reality System. Olwal, A., Lindfors, C., Gustafsson, J., Kjellberg, T., and Mattson, L.
Proceedings of ISMAR 2005 (IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality), Vienna, Austria, Oct 5-8, 2005, pp. 24-27.
pdf Interaction Techniques using Prosodic Features of Speech and Audio Localization. Olwal, A., and Feiner, S.
Proceedings of IUI 2005 (International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces), San Diego, CA, Jan 9-12, 2005, pp. 284-286.
2004
pdf An Autostereoscopic Optical See-through Display for Augmented Reality. Olwal, A., Lindfors, C., Gustafsson, J.
SIGGRAPH 2004 Sketches Sketches (International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques), Los Angeles, CA, Aug 8-12, 2004.
pdf Unit: Modular Development of Distributed Interaction Techniques for Highly Interactive User Interfaces. Olwal, A., and Feiner, S.
Proceedings of GRAPHITE 2004 (International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia), Singapore, Singapore, Jun 15-18, 2004, pp. 131-138.
2003
pdf The Flexible Pointer: An Interaction Technique for Selection in Augmented and Virtual Reality. Olwal, A., and Feiner, S.
Conference Supplement of UIST '03 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Vancouver, BC, Nov 2-5, 2003, pp. 81-82.
pdf Rubbing the Fisheye: Precise Touch-Screen Interaction with Gestures and Fisheye Views. Olwal, A., and Feiner, S.
Conference Supplement of UIST '03 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Vancouver, BC, Nov 2-5, 2003, pp. 83-84.
pdf MAVEN: Mutual Disambiguation of 3D Multimodal Interaction in Augmented and Virtual Reality. Kaiser, E., Olwal, A., McGee, D., Benko, H., Corradini, A., Li, X., Feiner, S., and Cohen, P.
Proceedings of ICMI 2003 (International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces), Vancouver, BC, Nov 5-7, 2003, pp. 12-19.
pdf SenseShapes: Using Statistical Geometry for Object Selection in a Multimodal Augmented Reality System. Olwal, A., Benko, H., and Feiner, S.
Proceedings of ISMAR 2003 (IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality), Tokyo, Japan, Oct 7-10, 2003, pp. 300-301.
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