St Andrews HCI Research Group

Welcome to the website for SACHI which aims to act a focal point for human computer interaction research across the University of St Andrews and beyond.

SACHI is the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group (a HCI Group) based in the School of Computer Science. Members of SACHI co-supervise research students, collaborate on various projects and activities, share access to research equipment and our HCI laboratory. Established in 2011, we now have a regular seminar series, social activities, summer schools and organise workshops and conferences together. Along with the above links, you can find more news about us here.

News & Events

SACHI Seminar: Alix Goguey (University of Saskatchewan) – Augmenting touch expressivity to improve the touch modality

Event details

  • When: 1st November 2017 13:15 - 14:15
  • Where: Honey 103 - GFB



Augmenting touch expressivity to improve the touch modality


During the last decades, touch surfaces have become more and more ubiquitous. Whether on tablets, on smartphones or on laptops, touch surfaces are used by a majority of us on a daily basis. However, the limited expressivity – the different channels used to convey information to the system – of the touch modality restricts drastically the amount of features that can be controlled via touch only. For instance, a typical smartphone touchscreen only provides the absolute position of a contact on the screen, thus applications usually offer only one way to carry out tasks (which can augment user frustration or cap performances) or restrict possibilities (e.g. Photoshop on desktop offers more than 600 commands but only about 40 on smartphones and tablets). In this talk, I will present an overview of my on-going research and discuss different ways to tackle this problem, augment touch expressivity and user efficiency: from tools that helps better designing touch interfaces to the use of new input dimensions in original interaction techniques.

Speaker biography

Alix Goguey is a post postdoctoral fellow working with Carl Gutwin in the Interaction Lab at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in October 2016 in the Mjolnir research group at Inria Lille – Nord Europe, France, under the supervision of Géry Casiez. His work focuses on understanding and designing interaction techniques on touch input devices and particularly through the use of new information such as finger identification. To learn more about Alix’s work:

iVoLVER system wins Best Demo Jury Award at ACM ISS 2017

The iVoLVER system (, created by Gonzalo Méndez and Miguel Nacenta from the SACHI group at the School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews, received on Thursday 19 the ACM ISS Best Demo Jury Award during the conference, which took place at Brighton, UK.

iVoLVER is a web-based visual programming environment that enables anyone to transform visualizations that the find in-the-wild (e.g., in a poster or a newspaper) into new visualizations that are more useful for them.

An example iVoLVER interface.

The ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces conference takes place yearly in different locations. Next year it will take place in Tokyo, Japan. The conference is a premier venue for work that studies how people interact in smart spaces and surfaces and how to design and engineering solutions for novel interfaces.

SACHI Seminar – Florian Echtler (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar): Instant Interaction

Event details

  • When: 16th November 2017 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b


Instant Interaction


Although Mark Weiser’s original vision of “ubiquitous computing” has all but arrived due to the wide availability of smartphones, tablets and interactive screens, the envisioned ease of use is still mostly lacking. This is particularly apparent when we consider interaction and collaboration between multiple persons and their personal mobile devices. These issues can be partly mitigated by relying on cloud services for data exchange, but this approach opens up multiple other issues regarding data safety and privacy. In this talk, I will present the concept of “instant interaction”, which aims to enable ad-hoc interaction between multiple persons, their individual mobile devices, and fixed infrastructure, without requiring any prior exchange of account data or PINs. The only prerequisite for immediate interaction is physical proximity. Examples from my current research will illustrate this  concept.

Speaker Biography:

Florian Echtler is junior professor for mobile media at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. His research interests focus on interaction and collaboration using peer-to-peer communication technologies available in today’s mobile devices. Additional topics covered by his research include computer vision for HCI applications, sensor technology and gesture recognition.