Human-computer interaction in Israel is going through a quiet revolution: the Israeli software industry and research institutions are turning their focus to user-facing technologies and challenges, requiring innovation and education. A great sign of this revolution is the success of IsraHCI, the first Israeli Human-Computer Interaction Research Conference. The conference was held in IDC last Tuesday was co-organized by Dr. Eran Toch and three other young Israeli HCI researchers.
The number of participants had extended our expectations: we had 210 registered participants and 50 more on a waiting list that did not get in. The participations were very diverse as well, 45% of them from the Academia, 35 percent from high-tech companies (including Intel, IBM, GM, Elbit Samsung and more) and 20% from UI consulting firms.
Another good indicator was the content that was presented. We got 52 excellent submissions, including 12 papers (we had to reject 6 of them to meet our time criteria), and lots of demos and posters. Presenters came from almost all of the Israeli universities and colleges, including Tel Aviv University, The Technion, Ben-Gurion University, IDC, Weizmann Institute, Shenkar College and HIT. The demos were particularly interesting, including 4 different motion-sensing companies – the top motion-sensing technologies in the world, all of them submitted abstracts, registered and sent several people to present their work. We also had coverage from the top Israeli media: Calcalist and Haaretz, and possibly Channel 2 who would do a post-cover.
Here are some pictures, to convey the feel of the event…