Trent Apted
PhD (2009)

Contact Details

E-mail: tapted@it.usyd.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9351 5711

School of Information Technologies
Level 3 West, Building J12
University of Sydney
NSW, 2006, Australia

Web-site: http://www.it.usyd.edu.au/~tapted

Photo of Trent Apted

Research Interests

Designing an effective social interface for sharing digital photographs

The digital camera has changed the nature of photography and the photographic process, and the need for more suitable ways to share digital photographs is well understood. Digital photos may be printed, but this adds an expense, and reduces the search and distribution capabilities of photos in digital form, so some opt not to print at all. Thus some of the traditional methods of sharing photographs, such as photo albums, have been lost; along with the emotional attachment and social interaction that is possible with physical items.

We have recently begun to see hardware support for the tabletop user interface, offering a number of new ways for humans to interact with computers. Our interface, currently in the form of a high-fidelity prototype, leverages the multi-user and direct-interaction capabilities of the tabletop, as well as aspects of multimodal and pervasive computing to provide a natural interface for sharing digital photographs in a collocated social setting. However, designing such an interface and making it effective is not a straightforward task. Such an interface needs to overcome problems of clutter and orientation inherent in tabletop interfaces, and provide an experience that allows the users to ignore the computer and conduct their dialogue unhindered for a truly social interaction.


In March 2005, Trent Apted started his PhD at the University of Sydney after working with NICTA for one year as a research engineer on Project Nightingale; a joint research project with the University of Sydney and the Smart Internet CRC. In his PhD work, Trent is exploring the potential of the "tabletop interface" as a platform for formal and informal face-to-face collaboration, multimedia display and exchange, information visualisation and entertainment.

After studies in 2003, Trent was awarded the University Medal and first class Honours in the Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Advanced) at the University of Sydney. For his honours thesis he investigated learning techniques for interactive tangible user interfaces, or "Smart Toys", and graduated with the highest fourth-year weighted average mark in the Faculty of Science. While undertaking his degree he did tutoring and gained experience in a range of computer science disciplines including machine learning, knowledge representation, database design, computer security, networking and user interfaces as a result of coursework and research projects while participating in the Science Talented Student Programme.

During the last two years of his undergraduate degree, he published papers in four international conferences and submitted a paper to the International Journal on Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (special issue on Concepts and Ontologies in WBES), which appeared in 2004. He has since published work in a number of workshops and conferences, as his tabletop research matures.

Current Projects

Recent Publications

T. Apted, J. Bunton, G. Darke, J. Kay, and B. Kummerfeld. Systems & methods for collaborative interaction, 2012. [View Details]

A. Collins, C. J. Ackad, T. Apted, P. Sztajer, P. Ward, H. Weng, and J. Kay. Core functionality and new applications for tabletops and interactive surfaces. In UbiComp '11, 13th international conference on Ubiquitous computing, pages 607-608, New York, NY, USA, 2011. ACM Press. [View Details]

T. Apted, A. Collins, and J. Kay. Heuristics to support design of new software for interaction at tabletops. In CHI '09 Workshop on Multitouch and Surface Computing, 2009. [View Details]

T. Apted and J. Kay. Photable: Enhancing the social interaction around the sharing of digital photographs. In CHI '08 workshop on Collocated social practices surrounding photos, 2008. [View Details]

T. Apted, J. Bunton, G. Darke, J. Kay, and B. Kummerfeld. Systems & methods for collaborative interaction, 2008. [View Details]

T. H. Apted. Cruiser and PhoTable: Exploring Tabletop User Interface Software for Digital Photograph Sharing and Story Capture. PhD thesis, School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney, 2008. [View Details]

T. Apted. A system and method for manipulating digital images on a computer display, 2007. [View Details]

A. Collins, T. Apted, and J. Kay. Tabletop file system access: Associative and hierarchical approaches. In TABLETOP '07: Proceedings of the Second Annual IEEE International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human-Computer Systems, pages 113-120, Washington, DC, USA, 2007. IEEE Computer Society. [View Details]

T. Apted. An interface element for a computer interface, 2007. [View Details]

T. Apted. Systems and methods for remote file transfer, 2007. [View Details]

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