Dr. Te-Yen Wu, an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department, has published two research papers about computational materials in Top HCI conference (CHI-24).

These work are coauthored with students and faculty in Simon Fraser University. Dr.Te-Yen Wu is the last author, the corresponding author, in these papers.

The first paper is titled with “Tagnoo: Enabling Room-Scale Smart Environments with RFID-Augmented Plywood.” In this paper, they present Tagnoo, a computational plywood augmented with RFID tags, aimed at empowering woodworkers to effortlessly create room-scale smart environments. Unlike existing solutions, Tagnoo does not necessitate technical expertise or disrupt established woodworking routines. This battery-free and cost-effective solution seamlessly integrates computation capabilities into plywood, while preserving its original appearance and functionality. In this paper, they explore various parameters that can influence Tagnoo’s sensing performance and woodworking compatibility through a series of experiments. Additionally, they demonstrate the construction of a small office environment, comprising a desk, chair, shelf, and floor, all crafted by an experienced woodworker using conventional tools such as a table saw and screws while adhering to established construction workflows. Their evaluation confirms that the smart environment can accurately recognize 18 daily objects and user activities, such as a user sitting on the floor or a glass lunchbox placed on the desk, with over 90% accuracy.

The second paper is titled with “WooDowel: Electrode Isolation for Electromagnetic Shielding in Triboelectric Plywood Sensors.” In this paper, they present a new approach to address the challenges associated with maintaining the functionality of triboelectric vibration sensors in smart plywood during woodworking operations involving nails and screws. The current state-of-the-art sensor design employs non- overlapping electrodes, which unfortunately leads to significant compromises in terms of signal strength and clarity, particularly in real-world scenarios that involve electromagnetic (EM) interference. To overcome these limitations, they propose a method that enables the woodworker to manually isolate short-circuited electrodes. This method facilitates the creation of sensors using overlapping electrodes, while also incorporating EM shielding, thereby resulting in a substantial improvement in the sensor’s robustness when detecting user activities. To validate the effectiveness of their proposed approach, they conducted a series of experiments, which not only shed light on the drawbacks of non-overlapping electrode designs but also demonstrated the significant improvements achieved through their method.

These paper will be presented at the CHI 2024 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, US, in May and are set to be published in the conference proceedings.