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Master Student Paulo Bala Awarded First Place at CHI 2015

Dual Degree Professional Master in Entertainment Technology
Master Student Paulo Bala Awarded First Place at CHI 2015

CHI 2015 Paulo Bala MITI The innovative digital game ‘Keyewai: Last Meal,’ developed by a team of researchers from the M-ITI, won the first prize in the Innovative Interface category, at the Game Design Competition held during the 2015 CHI conference. Paulo Bala, a dual degree professional master student in Entertainment Technology, at Universidade da Madeira (UMa) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), led the research team that developed this game during an academic project.

In “Keyewai: Last Meal”, the players embody the role of a couple stuck on the Island of Keyewai and face its multiple dangers. The goal is to find scattered pieces of a broken radio, using only a flashlight, and assemble it to call for help. Team Keyewai, led by Paulo Bala, developed this innovative two-player computer game that is displayed in a holographic projection screen placed between the players. The game’s accompanying hardware also features two eye-trackers that detect the players’ gaze and highlights it in the screen, acting as the flashlight that the characters use in the game to reveal hidden objects. This interface design allows a novel playing experience with face-to-face social interaction and gaze-based interaction with the game.

Developed in five weeks, the game is just an academic project, according to its creators, with no aspirations to enter the market yet. Besides Paulo Bala, the team that developed the game within the Game Design class includes Lucília Nóbrega (Informatics Engineering – MEI), Guilherme Neves (MEI), Laís Lopes (Interactive Media Design – LDMI), Joana Morna (MEI), João Camacho (LDMI) and Cristina Freitas (LDMI). These students were co-supervised by faculty members and researchers Sergi Badia i Bermúdez, Yoram Chisik, and Monchu Chen, from M-ITI.

CHI is the world’s premiere conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, organized by the Association for Computing Machinery and sponsored by some of the largest technology companies in the world. This is the fourth consecutive year that M-ITI students are awarded at the CHI conference. The conference took place in Seoul, South Korea in April.

In the scope of the CMU Portugal Program, MET is a dual master degree offered by the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at CMU and the Madeira Interactive-Technologies Institute (M-ITI) at University of Madeira (UMa).

April 2015