Welcome to the UMSI Interaction Lab!

We’re a human-computer interaction lab at the University of Michigan School of Information, directed by Michael Nebeling. Our particular focus is on extended reality (XR), designing and studying augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies, interfaces, and applications. Welcome!

One of Michael Nebeling‘s lectures on XR terminology in his XR MOOC series, explaining the differences and relationships between AR, VR, MR, and XR.

About Us

We study the next generation of user interfaces, as well as the methods and tools to create them.

We investigate new techniques, tools, and technologies that enable users to interact with information in more natural and powerful ways, and also make it easier for designers to create more usable and effective interfaces. Ultimately, our research will allow more users to become designers and designers to better anticipate and design for user needs.

AR/VR Research & Instruction

We are involved in a lot of the efforts at U-M around AR/VR, most notably the U-M wide XR initiative.

Professor Nebeling teaches two courses focused on AR/VR. One is an introductory course focused on AR/VR interaction design and novel prototyping techniques. This is the required course in the XR graduate certificate program. The other is a more technical course focusing on development of AR/VR interfaces with state-of-the-art devices and tools. He also created the XR MOOC specialization that launched on Coursera in December 2020, which consists of three courses, providing a fundamental introduction to the technologies and key issues and covering the design and development process in depth.

All of our current research projects involve some kind of AR/VR. Many are focused on making it easier and faster for non-technical users to create AR/VR experiences. Another major stream of research is focused on improving the usability, accessibility, and privacy, and context awareness of AR/VR interfaces. Most of the results are new techniques and tools, but we also do conceptual work and experimental research.

We work with state-of-the-art devices, including Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus/Meta, and HTC Vive headsets, as well as Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit mobile AR platforms.

We also collaborate with all major companies in the space and enjoy their friendship and support, currently including Meta, Microsoft, Epic, and Disney.