I will be presenting two ongoing research projects that, while quite different in their direct aims, both revolve around creating a sense of empowerment in the user. The first project, called ioCane, is a ultrasonic attachment to blind canes that communicates wirelessly with Android mobile devices to give height and distance feedback to blind cane users. The second project, the UCube, is a tangible input device for 3D modeling that aims to get kids (and other novices) into 3D modeling with specific aims at 3D printing, games, and puzzles through the lens of embodied cognition.
Ben is currently a third-year doctoral student at the University of Colorado, Boulder studying Computer Science under Dr. Michael Eisenberg at the Craft Technology Lab. His research revolves around creating empowering experiences through technology, often by combing physical interfaces with computational capabilities. Ben also works for the Education Department at SparkFun Electronics, creating curricula, teaching, and performing product development in the form of new open-source hardware and kits. Before moving to Colorado, Ben lived in New York City, earning a Master's degree from the ITP program at NYU and working for the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center.