Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a constantly moving field. On the one hand, changes in computing technologies extend their possible uses and modify the conditions of existing ones. On the other hand, users adapt to new technologies and adapt them to their own needs. Various problems and opportunities regularly stem from this co-evolution, and among them, it is not always easy to differentiate the news from the real significant new. Mjolnir proposes to get back to fundamental HCI questions that have lately been eclipsed by technological changes, and to revisit them in today's context.
HCI research is not about tomorrow's interfaces or applications but about the original ideas, fundamental knowledge and practical tools that will inspire, inform and support the design of human-computer interactions in the next decades. We favor the vision of computers as tools and want them to empower people. Our long term goal is to provide answers to fundamental questions such as: What does it take for an interactive system to be perceived as a tool or a partner? Can computing tools be designed to support both transparent and analytic use? In the short to medium term, we propose to investigate ways to leverage human control and perceptual skills, and means to support digital skill development. Research on control skills will focus on transfer functions. Research on perceptual skills will focus on haptics and animated displays. Research on digital skill development will start with offline and real-time activity monitors. We will also study the integration of knowledge from these domains in interactive systems and the tools to design them.