Alex S Hill

Alex S Hill

954 Cochran Street
Charleston, SC 29492

phone: +1 (773) 575 8530


Like many, I envision a future where the digital and physical worlds seamlessly combine to create a compelling and powerful user experience. While visualizing this potential is now a mainstay of contemporary film and television, the real challenge lies not in generating rich graphics but in deftly managing the broad spectrum of potential user input. This challenge is at the heart of 3D user interface research and requires a healthy skepticism that 3D and gesture-based user interfaces are inherently superior to traditional interfaces.

With a combined 20 years experience in commercial implementation, artistic collaboration and academic research on non-traditional user interfaces, I bring an exceptionally broad set of skils to the problem of moving towards an augmented reality future without losing sight of the fundamental user experience along the way. Among those skills, I count an ability to work in a visual medium both through communication of ideas and design critique, an ability to communicate with constituents from end user to CEO, and extensive practical experience designing, prototyping and developing virtual and augmented reality software.


Software Development

KHARMA KHARMA Augmented Environments Laboratory, ISMAR 2010
An open standards-based framework for the development of augmented reality applications on mobile devices based on HTML, CSS3, Javascript and an extention to standard KML markup.

UART Unity AR Toolkit Augmented Environments Laboratory, 2009
A set of Unity 3D plugins for background video, marker tracking and peripherals that allow users to easily develop and deploy augmented reality applications for both the desktop and iPhone.

Ygdrasil IDE Ygdrasil IDE Electronic Visualization Laboratory, 2007
Proof of concept virtual world builder based on the Withindows framework. Uses image-plane selection on viewing windows for search, selection and manipulation in both desktop and immersive Linux/SGI/Windows environments.

User Interfaces

ClearSpace ClearSpace Augmented Environments Laboratory, Pervasive Computing 2009
A mixed-reality interface for virtual teamrooms that tracks the head and hands of remote users at see-through interactive whiteboards and reflects their actions into a common virtual world.

Withindows Withindows Electronic Visualization Laboratory, IEEE 3DUI Symposium 2008
A theoretical framework designed to single-author applications that operate on the continuum between the desktop and immersion. The framework is based on using image-plane selection on through-the-lens viewing windows.

CaveSim 2.0 CAVESim 2.0 Electronic Visualization Laboratory/VRCO, 2006
A modernization of the CAVElib simulator interface to improve the usability. Mouse-wand mode moves the hand in a spherical coordinate system under the mouse and the mouse-look mode allows de-coupled navigation and viewing.

User Studies

Image Plane Study Image-Plane Study Electronic Visualization Laboratory, unpublished 2008
A user study to evaluate the merits of using image-plane selection on 2D surfaces. A repeated measures ANOVA contrasts image-plane with ray-casting on surfaces placed below the hand and at various distances from the user.

PARIS Evaluation PARIS Evaluation Electronic Visualization Laboratory, 2000
The PARIS device attempts to strike a compromise between presenting stereo images on the horizon and at waist level. User study found the setup forced users into reaching and the resulting fatigue discouraged direct hand use.

Independent Consulting


Nojd Royal Institute of Technology, 2006
A large screen installation based on the mythological Shaman from Northern Sweden. Combines embedded live video feeds, autonomous characters, particle systems and physics into a robust museum grade interface.

Kenosha VRML

Kenosha VRML Placevision Incorporated, 2004
Designed and programmed the heads up display and interactive construction of proposed buildings for a VRML model of Kenosha, IL using touchSensors and texture transforms.

Artistic Collaborations

W.O.M.B. W.O.M.B. University of Konstanz, 2003
A CAVE application focused on balancing the seven major Chakras that implements a physically intuitive user interface. Proprioception and gesture control navigation while voice, gaze and hands create and organize bubbles.

CITYCLUSTER CITYCLUSTER Electronic Visualization Laboratory, 2003
The novel user interface for this CAVE collaboration with Franz Fishnaller and F.A.B.R.I.CATORS uses a view rendered texture into the scene.  The user interface design presented unique opportunities for complex tele-immersive avatar representations.


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