WallEPop: Large actuated fabric displays

Project Supervisors:

Closing date for applications:  applications accepted all year round

Project description:

Flexible electronic displays and large electronic displays are closer to reality now than ever before. However, these technologies are being developed separately and are moving in different directions. A conventional fabric display is still a convenient way to make a large display. This technique offers a higher resolution display capability compare to LED-based large displays. Such displays can be used in personal, collaborative and public domains. However, it is still challenging to grab attention of people, encourage them to interact and keep them engaged with large displays due to their limited interaction modalities. One limiting reason being that the large LCD, LED and fabric displays are static. To this end, this project will explore making and evaluating dynamic fabric displays to improve user experience in private, collaborative and public domains. 

A recent publication by Sahoo et al., “TableHop”, presented an actuated tabletop fabric display in CHI ’16, which has opened up the door for research in actuated large display. The main advantages of this concept are that it is scalable, offers high-resolution projection and eliminates occlusion. 

This project will explore prototyping large actuated fabric displays by scaling up TableHop, along with studying its usability and user-experience. One initial research problem will be to compare the usability of actuated (tabletop and wall-mount) fabric display with respect to static fabric displays, and improving it by design thinking. The next research problem will be to develop new interaction designs for actuated fabric displays and study user experience. We envision that actuated fabric display will be usable with engaging experience in both collaborative and public domains compared to static displays.        

Prospective candidates should have a background in computer science, engineering, physics or psychology, with good working knowledge in human-computer interaction, digital design and physical prototyping. Prior experience in interaction design will be beneficial. The project will involve approximately 30% physical prototyping, 20% programming and 30% user study. The candidate is expected to pursue publication (20% of time) at top venues such as CHI, UIST, CSCW, UbiComp, ToCHI, and ToG.  

This is a non-funded PhD opportunity available at Swansea University College of Science and based in the Department/s of Computer Science 


Candidates must have a first, upper second class honours or a Masters degree (with Merit), in a relevant discipline.   Informal enquiries are welcome by emailing (name of project supervisor).

How to apply:

Please send the following to science-scholarships@swansea.ac.uk :

  • A comprehensive CV to include:
    • Details of qualifications, including grades
    • Details of any current and relevant employment or work experience
  • A covering letter stating why the project you are applying for particularly matches your skills and experience and how you would choose to develop the project