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Contact Person

Christopher Ackad
Christopher Ackad -

Christopher is a Ph.D. student with the Computer Human Adapted Interaction Research Group at the University of Sydney, under the direction of Professor Judy Kay.

Project Description

The MediaWall is a Cruiser extension that enables content exploration on large public information displays via natural hand gesture interactions. This research project tackles the following important issues:

  • Attracting passers-by to a public information display, and alerting them of its interactive capabilities.
  • Quickly training new users on available hand gestures to interact with the display.
  • Encouraging users to explore and engage with the content of the display.

One instance of the MediaWall is currently deployed outside the School of Information Technologies building, opposite the Seymour Center theatre. This setting enables us to quickly test, iterate and improve the system in a live environment with a diverse group of participants. The system currently runs nightly from 7pm to midnight.

A second instance of the same technology, LNIPS (Learning Network Information Point System), has been deployed in student computer labs across the campus. Here, students are able to interact with the displays via hand gestures to navigate through important announcements, find available computer terminals in their current location, and get navigation instructions to different computer labs across the campus.

Below is a short video that provides a brief overview of these two MediaWall instances.


Media Coverage

  • Public interactive displays trigger playful behaviour says University of Sydney

    Built and designed by the University’s School of Information Technologies and the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, the PID was located in the courtyard between the IT building and the Seymour Theatre. The study was conducted over a ten-day period, during which the system gathered data from over

  • PIDs trigger peoples playful side says University of Sydney

    A recent study by researchers from the University of Sydney revealed the rather playful behaviour of people when operating public interactive displays (PIDs).

  • Playful responses to public interactive displays surprise researchers

    The research team set out to learn how to design these displays for usability. When we began analysing the video recordings we were surprised at the very playful behaviour we saw. Even though they were in a very public space, some people spent time playing, dancing, shuffling and gesturing.

  • Interactive public information displays are like wallflowers

    Interactive public information displays and wallflowers have something in common according to University of Sydney information technologies researchers. They simply sit around hoping someone will notice them.

  • CHAI goes VIVID

    As part of Vivid Sydney 2013, the Seymour Centre will showcase the best ideas from the brightest students and researchers in light and technology from The University of Sydney.The iconic 70s façade of the Seymour Centre will be illuminated in bold new ways by some of the most inventive

  • All signs point to interactive advertising

    We’ve conducted a few user studies where we’ve observed pedestrians and the system. People have stopped and interacted immediately,” Mr Collins says. “The skeleton avatar enables immediate interaction as well an anonymity, so the unobtrusive method is a real drawcard.

Related Publications


Ackad, Christopher; Kay, Judy; Tomitsch, Martin

Skeletons and Silhouettes: Comparing User Representations at a Gesture-based Large Display Inproceedings

CHI'16, May 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA, USA, 2016.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Ackad, Christopher James; Clayphan, Andrew; Tomitsch, Martin; Kay, Judy

An in-the-wild study of learning mid-air gestures to browse hierarchical information at a large interactive public display Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp 2015, Osaka, Japan, September 7-11, 2015, pp. 1227–1238, 2015.

Links | BibTeX


Tomitsch, Martin; Ackad, Christopher; Dawson, Oliver; Hespanhol, Luke; Kay, Judy

Who cares about the Content? An Analysis of Playful Behaviour at a Public Display Inproceedings

The 3rd International Symposium on Pervasive Displays, 2014.


Ackad, Christopher; Tomitsch, Martin; Kay, Judy

Towards Learnable Gestures for Exploring Hierarchical Information Spaces at a Large Public Display Inproceedings

Gesture based Interaction Design: Communication and Cognition, CHI 2014, 2014.



Grace, Kazjon; Wasinger, Rainer; Ackad, Christopher; Collins, Anthony; Dawson, Oliver; Gluga, Richard; Kay, Judy; Tomitsch, Martin

Conveying Interactivity at an Interactive Public Information Display Inproceedings

The 2nd International Symposium on Pervasive Displays 2013, 2013.


Ackad, Christopher; Wasinger, Rainer; Gluga, Richard; Kay, Judy; Tomitsch, Martin

Measuring Interactivity at an Interactive Public Information Display Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration, pp. 329–332, ACM, Adelaide, Australia, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4503-2525-7.

Links | BibTeX


Hespanhol, Luke; Tomitsch, Martin; Grace, Kazjon; Collins, Anthony; Kay, Judy

Investigating Intuitiveness and Effectiveness of Gestures for Free Spatial Interaction with Large Displays Inproceedings

PerDis '12: Proceedings of the 2012 International Symposium on Pervasive Displays, pp. 6:1–6:6, ACM, Porto, Portugal, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4503-1414-5.

Links | BibTeX