The HERA Awards for Future Generations are prizes awarded by the “Fondation pour les Générations Futures” that reward outstanding master and PhD theses.
Arthur Sluÿters received the HERA Award Sustainable IT for the 9th edition of the awards. The event will be held from April 21 to April 29th, and consists of 6 webinars presented by the award-winners from April 21 to April 28 and a ceremony on the 29 at 8pm. Arthur’s webinar will be given on April 21 at 10 am and is titled “Les technologies de demain : plus accessibles, éthiques et écologiques”.
We asked Arthur a few questions following the news of his award
What was the topic of your Master thesis?
As part of my Master thesis with Jean Vanderdonckt, I developed a framework that aims at facilitating the development of gesture-controlled applications. This framework is a kind of "bridge" between, on the one hand, application developers who do not necessarily have a particular knowledge in the field of interaction by gesture, and, on the other hand, researchers who regularly propose more and more advanced gesture recognition methods.
With the help of another student, I was able to demonstrate the usefulness of this framework in three different applications:
In the first one, I used it to develop a multimedia application allowing the manipulating of photos, videos and documents by gesture.
The second application is similar, but applies to the medical field. It lets a surgeon see a patient's medical images without contact in the operating room.
Finally, in the last application, the framework was used to compare gesture recognition algorithms with each other in order to determine which one offers the best results on a set of given gestures.
Overall, I found the subject of my Master thesis fascinating. On the one hand, it addressed current societal problems: how to interact with computer systems in a hygienic way to avoid the transmission of germs and diseases, how to design an interface that is easily accessible to everyone, etc. On the other hand, it required adopting a global approach, and therefore needed to include many different aspects, from the elaboration of a framework and several applications to the performance of experiments to determine the best gestures for a series of actions.
What was your reaction when you heard that you would receive the HERA Award for Sustainable IT?
At first, I was very surprised, because the other Master theses presented for the price were all of high quality. Then I was very happy, because I was able to discover the work of the other participants in a positive and relaxed atmosphere, where everyone was clearly passionate about their work.
Thanks to the HERA Award, I will have the opportunity to raise awareness among the general public about the benefits of gestural interaction in everyday life. At the same time, my doctoral thesis allows me to continue what I have started in my master’s thesis and therefore to contribute to the development of the human-machine interfaces of tomorrow!
You can learn more about Arthur's research :
- On UCLouvain : https://uclouvain.be/fr/chercher/actualites/l-interaction-gestuelle-bientot-une-realite.html
- On Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/UCLouvain/
- On Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6794964626921558016
If you want to know more about the HERA Awards or assist to the webinars and/or ceremony, you can check out the HERA Website