Alex Olwal, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Research Scientist and Manager, Google AR

Interaction Technology R&D · Augmented Reality · Wearables · Ubiquitous Computing · Human—Computer Interaction · Accessibility · Displays and Sensors

Research conducted at Google Research, MIT, Columbia University, University of California, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), and Microsoft Research, with much appreciated collaborators and contributors at the same or other institutions. Also, thank you Stanford University, Rhode Island School of Design and KTH for the opportunity to teach.

Alex Olwal

Hidden Interfaces
Hidden Interfaces create extremely bright displays that can appear and disappear in wood, textile, plastic and mirrored surfaces. User interfaces can therefore blend into natural materials and environments without any compromise to their design or aesthetics.

E-Textile Microinteractions andI/O Braid make textiles interactive. We sense the user's proximity, touch and twist, and detect gestures, such as flicks, slides, pinches, grabs and pats, using machine learning and capactive touch sensing. Fiber optics provide embedded light feedback.
Hidden Interfaces for Ambient Computing: Enabling Interaction in Everyday Materials through High-brightness Visuals on Low-cost Matrix Displays
Olwal, A., and Dementyev, A.
Proceedings of CHI 2022 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), New Orleans, LA, Apr 29-May 5, 2022, pp. 1-20, Article 504.

CHI 2022
PDF [14MB]
E-Textile Microinteractions: Augmenting Twist with Flick, Slide and Grasp Gestures for Soft Electronics
Olwal, A., Starner, T., and Mainini, G.
Proceedings of CHI 2020 (ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), Honolulu, HI, Apr 25-30, 2020, pp. 1-13.

CHI 2020
PDF [19MB]
I/O Braid: Scalable Touch-Sensitive Lighted Cords Using Spiraling, Repeating Sensing Textiles and Fiber Optics
Olwal, A., Moeller, J., Priest-Dorman, G., Starner, T., and Carroll, B.
Proceedings of UIST 2018 - Best Demo Award (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Berlin, Germany, Oct 14-17, 2018, pp. 485-497.

UIST 2018 - Best Demo Award
PDF [18MB]
SensorSnaps: Integrating Wireless Sensor Nodes into Fabric Snap Fasteners for Textile Interfaces
Dementyev, A., Galvez, T., and Olwal, A.
Proceedings of UIST 2019 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), New Orleans, LA, Oct 20-23, 2019, pp. 17-28.

UIST 2019