Press Release: Networked Living Skills


Contact: Rosemary W. Stevens
CHI 2014 Publicity Coordinator
(650) 494-2800


CHI 2014

26 April - 1 May 2014, Metro Toronto Convention Centre

TORONTO, CANADA -- (14 April 2014) Imagine your lightbulbs all have an IP address and they understand a protocol such as how to turn on or off, make them brighter or dimmer and they are controlled by an App on your iPhone. Now imagine they have less security than your laptop. And now imagine it is not just your lightbulbs, it’s your switches, thermostat, heating and cooling systems, appliances, garage door, front door locks... Everything around you has an IP address and understands protocols. So instead of someone taking over your laptop to surreptitiously take over your email to send spam, they could now control your physical environment. We will soon live in a network of smart devices, in which concerns regarding security are not optional.

New work concerning solutions to these problems will be addressed at this year’s ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (CHI 2014), scheduled 26 April - 1 May 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada. Presenters from companies such as Google, Facebook, eBay, and Yahoo! will join scholars from universities including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Toronto to share ideas and further develop the quality of human-computer interaction.

A panel about Electronic Privacy and Surveillance will discuss the usability of privacy tools and how to design interactive technologies with privacy in mind. “The confluence of big data, data analytics, and connected devices is facilitating electronic surveillance and compromising privacy in unprecedented ways” explains Lorrie Cranor of Carnegie Mellon University.

A keynote about The Physical Web will examine many of the issues to consider when developing the network of things. “Soon we will enter a future in which many devices, such as wall switches and lightbulbs, will be able to join the network and be controllable remotely” says Scott Jenson of Google. In addition to these two presentations, there are several others that address solutions to the puzzling problems that people encounter every day about how to make their security and privacy settings on their computers and mobile devices to accomplish their goals. Many devices are currently confusing and sometimes user’s interests are different from the vendor’s interests (tracking to obtain physical location and purchasing habits, for example.) The speakers at CHI 2014 will present ways to encourage people to make intelligent choices about security and privacy settings.

About the CHI Conference
Originally a small conference for psychologists interested in user interface design, the annual CHI conference has grown to include a very diverse participant group such as interaction designers, computer scientists, engineering psychologists, developers, and performing artists. It deals with larger problems such as the organizational integration of technology, and the use of technology in all areas of life. This year’s conference marks 32 years of research, innovation and development in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and is expected to draw about 3,000 professionals from over 49 countries. The experience at CHI 2014 offers innovative opportunities for interacting with future technologies. For complete information about this year’s conference, consult the CHI 2014 program.

Conference Sponsors
ACM --- ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. ACM provides the computing field’s premier Digital Library and serves its members and the computing profession with leading-edge publications, conferences, and career resources. Please visit ACM for more information.

SIGCHI --- Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the focus of ACM’s Special Interest Group, SIGCHI, the host organization for the annual CHI Conference. ACM SIGCHI embraces work on the hardware and software engineering of interactive systems, the structure of communication between human and machine, characterization of the experience, use, and context of use for interactive systems, methodology of design, and new designs themselves. Preeminent in its field, ACM SIGCHI provides you with a wide-ranging forum for the exchange of ideas with others interested in HCI. Please visit ACM SIGCHI for more information.

Organizations contributing to the financial support of the conference include Champion Sponsors Autodesk, Bloomberg, Google, Inc., GRAND NCE, Microsoft Corp., NAVER,  and the Computer Science Department of the University of Toronto.