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.
IsraHCI was also authorized as the local ACM SIGCHI chapter for Israel. More information at the IsraHCI website and on our Facebook group.
Here are some pictures, to convey the feel of the event…