Which UChicagoCS laboratory looks like "If Stanley Kubrick and Ed Wood had teamed up to imagine the year 2019"? If you guessed the Human Computer Integration lab of assistant professor Pedro Lopes, you're correct. For University of Chicago magazine, writer Maureen Searcy visited Lopes and his students to learn about playing air theremin, stretchable computer circuits, using smell to make virtual reality more realistic, and a multitude of other projects putting the science in science fiction.
The feature uses Lopes' work to examine the broader field of human-computer interaction, or HCI, and how UChicagoCS researchers combine user-centered studies, security and privacy research, and data from sensors, mobile devices, and wearable technology to learn how to design better computer systems. Lopes and his laboratory approach the problem by prototyping future uses of technology using innovations such as electrical muscle stimulation and virtual reality, then examining the ramifications through both science and art.