A&M labs use Surface Hub to develop ways to improve human collaboration

man writes notes on a wall-mounted screen

Image: College of Engineering

A new technology from Microsoft, along with some new funding, will help two Texas A&M computer science laboratories find ways to improve human expression, interaction and collaboration in classrooms and boardrooms.

The two labs, both in the College of Engineering, are among 10 winners of Microsoft Surface Hub Research grants. Each will get $25,000 in unrestricted funding with an 84-inch Microsoft Surface Hub worth about $20,000.

The Surface Hub is a wall-mounted, touch-screen device designed for the conference room. The Hub can host conference calls while serving as a collaborative white board. Its resolution is four times better than most television sets.

The Sketch Recognition Lab uses technology to identify, understand and predict human behavior. The lab will use the Microsoft Surface Hub for collaboration while developing new technology.

Tracy Hammond, associate professor of computer science and engineering, directs the lab. “Sketch and gesture technologies have been shown to improve learning experiences,” Hammond said. “The Surface Hub enhances the group learning environment and the student-teacher collaborative environment by allowing for a large design environment. We look forward to developing new educational solutions for working in large collaborative environments.”

The Interface Ecology Lab investigates the future of human expression by focusing on creativity, play, participation and learning.

Director Andruid Kerne, associate professor of computer science and engineering, says his lab will use the Surface Hub to develop new interaction techniques for creative design.

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