Project Sidewalk Columbus, OH Deployment in the News

Jon E. Froehlich Feb 07, 2020

The Columbus, OH deployment of Project Sidewalk was just covered by the local ABC news station. The 2.5 minute segment (view it here) featured Dean Allemang, one of the lead volunteers of the Project Sidewalk Columbus deployment.

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Makeability Lab Video Game Night!

Jon E. Froehlich Jan 31, 2020

The Makeability Lab had its first ever "Video Game Night" (organized by ugrad extraordinaire, Aileen Zeng). We played Overcooked on the Switch, accessible air hockey, and ate pizza/snacks.

A picture from the Makeability Lab game night showing two rows of people (ugrad, MS, and PhD members of the lab) with the Overcooked Switch game in the background (projected on a screen)


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Project Tokyo: Using AI to Help Blind People Identify Faces

Jon E. Froehlich Jan 28, 2020

While a PhD student in the Makeability Lab, Lee Stearns interned at Microsoft Research, Cambridge in the UK and worked on an early version of Project Tokyo, which was just announced publicly. According to Microsoft, "Project Tokyo aims to understand how to create a visual agent technology that is useful and usable in the real world by focusing on how AI technology can help to augment people’s own capabilities." Read the full news article here. Congrats Lee!

Lee graduated with his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in Dec 2018 (news link) and is now at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Picture from


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Happy Chinese New Year!

Jon E. Froehlich Jan 27, 2020

Some Makeability Lab members celebrated the Chinese New Year at Din Tai Fung. Yum!

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Four Papers Accepted to CHI2020!

Jon E. Froehlich Dec 09, 2019

The Makeability Lab had four papers accepted to CHI this year. The acceptance rate was 24% (760 accepts of 3126 submissions). Congrats to the lead PhD students: Steven Goodman (HCDE), Dhruv Jain (CSE), Seokbin Kang (CS), Wendy Roldan (HCDE), and all our wonderful collaborators.

  • Goodman, S., Kirchner, S., Guttman, R., Jain, D., Froehlich, J., Findlater, L. Evaluating Smartwatch-based Sound Feedback for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Users Across Contexts, CHI2020
  • Jain D., Mack., K., Amrous, A., Wright, M., Goodman, S., Findlater, L., Froehlich, J. HomeSound: An Iterative Field Deployment of an In-Home Sound Awareness System for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Users, CHI2020
  • Kang, S., Shokeen, E., Byrne, V., Norooz, L., Bonsignore, E., Williams-Pierce, C., Froehlich, J. ARMath: Augmenting Everyday Life with Math Learning, CHI2020
  • Roldan, W., Gao, X., Marie, A., Hishikawa, T, Li, Z., Zhang, E., Froehlich, J., Yip, J. Opportunities and Challenges in Involving Users in Project-Based HCI Education, CHI2020

We plan to post the camera-ready versions of the papers and some videos in January!

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Makeability Lab Thanksgiving!

Jon E. Froehlich Nov 30, 2019

The Makeability Lab and the Inclusive Design Lab hosted a joint Thanksgiving Potluck. We ate chili, played games (and with cars), and had fun.

Special thanks to Dhruv Jain for bringing his Hot Wheels track, to Aileen for bringing Codenames, and to Kelly Mack for bringing 'chalkboard' cookies (you could write on the top of the cookies with white chocolate "chalk").

Eating chili at the Thanksgiving Potluck 

Playing with Dhruv's Hot Wheels' track.

Chalkboard cookie!

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HomeSound Wins People's Choice Award

Jon E. Froehlich Nov 20, 2019

HomeSound won the People's Choice Award and the Madrona Prize Runner-Up at the Allen School Annual Research Showcase. GeekWire has a nice write-up about the event and awards. Congrats team!

Dhruv standing in front of his award-winning HomeSound poster

Picture of the poster fair in the Gates Building

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Deep Learning for Sidewalk Accessibility Awarded 'Best Student Paper' at ASSETS'19

Jon E. Froehlich Oct 29, 2019

Our ASSETS'19 paper "Deep Learning for Automatically Detecting Sidewalk Accessibility Problems Using Streetscape Imagery" was just recognized with the 'Best Student Paper Award'--given to only one of the 158 submissions

Congrats team! [read more]

Venkatesh Presents UITalk Poster

Jon E. Froehlich Oct 29, 2019

Venkatesh presents our poster on UITalk to ASSETS'19 attendees. UITalk introduces a new multi-modal and accessible approach for blind or low-vision designers to edit visual layouts of webpages while maintaining visual aesthetics

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