Research Assistant receives SIGCHI Best Paper Award 2014


5 March 2014

Dr Hugo Nicolau has been honoured with an SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction) Best Paper Award 2014. The SIGCHI Best of CHI (Computer Human Interaction) Awards are presented in recognition of exceptional submissions to SIGCHI sponsored conferences. Recipients of the highly prestigious award are selected by the CHI Associate Chairs and Best Papers committee.

Dr Nicolau is a Research Assistant at the School of Computing's Human Centred Computing research group. His paper was on the topic of ‘1Chord-based Correction for Multitouch Braille Input’. The research was carried out as part of the larger project, SiDE (Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy), which involves research into including older adults in the process of new technological developments. The award-winning research was also carried out in collaboration with the University of Lisbon. Dr Nicolau said:

“My research focus is on creating new technologies for older adults and disabled people, enabling equal access to information, products, and services. Ultimately, the goal is to improve people's quality of life through digital technologies.

“In this particular paper, we propose a novel correction system for multi-touch Braille input (B#) on current touchscreen devices. This allows blind and visually impaired people to accurately input text on mobile phones and enhance their communication abilities. Empirical evidence has shown that our solution is significantly more accurate than mainstream products, such as Android's spellchecker.

“We are designing the next generation of accessible computing interfaces, competing with the best universities in the world. Receiving this award from SIGCHI was a great honour and a confirmation of the high quality research that is being undertaken by our team at the School of Computing.”

A short video preview of the research work can be viewed here:

For more information about SiDE:

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