6.S063 Engineering Interactive Technologies (fall 2017)

Instructor: Prof. Stefanie Mueller

Class Type: AUS, AUS2, DLAB2 (Departmental Lab), II (Independent Inquiry)

Prerequisites: 6.005, 6.031, 6.111, 6.115 or instructor permission (you only need one of these, not all)

When: Wednesday and Friday, 1-3pm

Where: location varies, check the schedule below

Enrollment: limited to 30 students

Piazza | Gradebook



Class content: Teaches how to build cutting edge interactive technologies, explains the underlying engineering concepts, and shows how those technologies evolved over time. Most of the class uses a studio format, i.e., extended periods of time for constructing software and hardware prototypes under the supervision of the teaching team. Every week, we will cover a different type of interactive technology, including multi-touch, augmented reality, haptics, wearables, shape-changing interfaces, and more.

Grading: Homeworks (pass/no pass):

Help: Tips for ESP8266 Microcontroller

Course Structure:
  • each class is 2 hours and split into a [Tech] and a [Build] section. We will also leave room at the end for you to get started on your homework while the teaching team is still there or use the time for your group project.
  • [Tech]: in the first half, we talk about a subfield of interactive technologies, e.g., augmented reality or shape changing interfaces, how the technology evolved over time and where the field is going.
  • [Build] in the second half, we talk about some practical engineering skills you need to build those interactive technologies yourself.
Disclaimer: This is a completely new course. We do our best to make the experience as smooth as possible for you but as with any new course it will not be perfect the first time. We look for students who are as excited as we are about this new opportunity to talk about the latest inventions in interactive technologies and who are willing to help us shape this course with their input.

Acknowledgements: This course is developed based on material from Prof. Patrick Baudisch and his research group at Hasso Plattner Institute.


Questions during the course:

  • before coming to an office hour, please post your question on Piazza
  • go to a TA office hour for building/coding oriented questions (tbd)
  • go to an instructor office hour for logistical and grading questions
  • please do not send us emails

Collaboration Policy:

Sick / Leave Policy:

  • ask your S3 dean to get in touch with the instructor
  • post privately on Piazza and explain the circumstances

Nanoquiz Make-up Policy:

  • Deadline for all make-ups: December 13 (wednesday), 1pm
  • we will automatically drop your lowest nanoquiz grade
  • to make up for a second nanoquiz you can write a tutorial in instructables style that we can use for a building session in next year's lecture. This will give you either 50% of the points of that nanoquiz if you didn't attempted it at all, or it allows you to top up the points you got to 100% if you took part in the quiz but didn't get all the right answers. The requirements for the tutorial are:
    • needs to be a paper either shown in class or published at UIST/CHI
    • must involve some hands-on building (i.e. some hardware, sensors, materials)
    • needs to fit a 60 minute lecture slot
    • list all components the activity requires and where to buy them (try to stay below $100 per student)
    • write a step-by-step instruction what students are going to do
    • you can write it in a word file or create a website, when you are done send it to Stefanie Mueller

Enrollment vs. Listener:

  • since this is a hands-on building class, we do not allow students to attend as Listeners

How to get reimbursed for your project:

  • every student gets $50 project budget
  • to get reimbursed write your first and last name on the physical receipts and give them to your TA
  • we will write you a bank check in return


Draft Schedule:

Week Date Content Notes
1 Sept 6 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • [Course Overview] PDF PPT
  • [Tech] Multitouch Technology PDF PPT
  • [Build] Intro to Laser Cutting PDF PPT
Sept 8 (fr)
at EDS (38-501)
  • TA office hour from 11am - 1pm at EDS
  • [Tech] Augmented Reality PDF PPT
  • [Build] Tips and Tricks for Laser Cutting PDF PPT
Sept 11 (mon)
at 32-211
  • Instructor office hour from 11 - 12.30pm
Sept 12 (tue)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • TA office hour from 4.15 - 6pm: get help with laser cutting and micro-controller setup
2 Sept 13 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
Sept 15 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • [Tech] Tangible Computing PDF PPT
  • [Build] 3D Printing Technologies PDF PPT
Sept 19 (tue)
  • TA office hour: get help with Pset1 step1/2 (due on friday)
3 Sept 20 (wed)
at EDS (38-501)
Sept 22 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
4 Sept 25 (mon)
at 32-211
2.30-3.30pm instructor office hour
Sept 27 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
Sept 29 (fr) Student Holiday, no classes
5 Oct 4 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
Oct 6 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • [Tech] Haptics and Force Feedback PDF PPT
  • [Build] Presentation Graphics PDF PPT
Add Date
6 Oct 11 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
Oct 13 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
7 Oct 18 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
Oct 20 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • [Tech] Creativity Support Tools PDF PPT
  • [Build] Press Training PDF PPT
8 Oct 25 (wed)
at EDS
  • nanoquiz 1 (lecture content week 1 and 2)
  • [Tech] Highlights of UIST PDF (not included in nanoquiz)
UIST Conference
Oct 27 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • Feedback Form Results
  • [Tech] How to search for Research Projects PDF PPT
  • [Build] Read paper and figure out how to build it PDF PPT
9 Nov 1 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • nanoquiz 2 (lecture content week 3 and 4)
  • group work time
Nov 3 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
10 Nov 8 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
10 Nov 10 (fr) Veterans Day, no classes
11 Nov 15 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • nanoquiz 4 (lecture content week 7 and 8)
  • [Tech] IDC Lab Tour with Demos
  • group work time
Nov 17 (fr)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • [Tech] Personal Fab: Intellectual Property / Sustainability PDF PPT
  • [Build] Photo-Editing PDF PPT Example Image: JPEG | CR2
  • Photography PDF PPT
12 Nov 22 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • group worktime to allow for Thanksgiving travel
Drop Date
Nov 24 (fr)
Thanksgiving Vacation
13 Nov 29 (wed)
at EDS
  • nanoquiz 5 (lecture content week 9 and 10) and nanoquiz 6 (lecture content week 11 and 12)
  • group work time, prep for final presentation
SIGGRAPH ASIA
Dec 1 (fr)
  • Autodesk Build Space visit, meet at 1.05pm at the Kendall T-Station or 1.40pm at Autodesk BUILD Space, 23 Drydock Ave, Boston, MA 02210. We will be back at 3pm.
14 Dec 6 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • Final Project Presentations and Live Demos (graded)
Dec 8 (fr)
  • no class, Stefanie Mueller at UIST Program Committee meeting
15 Dec 13 (wed)
at IDC (N52–387)
  • Final Project Presentations and Live Demos (graded)
  • Feedback for next year
Last Day of Classes
Dec 15 (fr)
  • DEADLINE: all project deliverables to Gradebook and finalize your group project website, upload until 11.59pm
  • no class