The Second International Congress on Animal Computer Interaction

“Inventing and Investigating Animal-Computer Interactions”

Monday, November 16 2015 ( in conjunction with the 12th Advances in Computer Entertainment Technologies (ACE) 2015, Iskandar, Johor, Malaysia )

Register for ACI 2015

Important dates:
Deadline submission of full papers and short papers: August 31, 2015
Notification: October 14, 2015
Camera ready deadline: October 28, 2015
Conference date: November 16, 2015

While traditionally animal technology has been the concern of other disciplines, more recently the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) community has begun to take an interest in computer interactions involving animals,

particularly in the context of human-animal interactions, concomitantly with a growing market of various types of digital technologies aimed at animals and humans. For example, the commercial relevance of the emerging area can be seen in the many technologies marketed to canine owners, which consist of devices for training animals, taking care of them, as well as surveillance of them.

An increasing body of work originating from within the HCI community is shaping an emerging discipline, which – by analogy with HCI – has been dubbed Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) and comprises: studying the interaction between animals, technology and humans in naturalistic settings; developing user-centered technology that supports animals and interspecies relationships; informing user-centered approaches to the design of technology intended for animals.

Previous research on human-animal interaction contains technical research on species-appropriate computer-mediated interaction as well as studies on everyday interaction between humans, dogs and computers . We aim to establish a conference on this topic to bring about better understanding, radical new methods and systems for computer supported interaction between species. Human-animal interaction is at best an emerging theme within human computer interaction. The research in this area has been limited, making it difficult to understand the experience of such new technologies and what to design next.

We aim to improve the understanding of the interaction between animals and humans, and making space for other species than the latter.

It builds on a longstanding concern for Inter-species relationship within anthropology and related disciplines, which challenge distinctions between culture and nature, humans and non-humans .

Within the HCI field, there are several systems oriented projects that investigate how to digitally enable interaction between humans and animals. This research makes visible the specific challenges that need to be addressed when facing animal interaction capabilities, such as the inadequacy of text based interaction. The systems developed will need to investigate multi-sensory interaction and allow for significant sensorial variations such as audition, vision, haptic, gustation, and olfaction, to be conveyed as mixed reality communication media between humans and animals. The methods used are equally challenging and needs to be addressed. They need to account for uncertainties and complexities both in understanding humans and animals, and the type of novel systems that support interaction.

In all, the conference will provide a forum for research which invents and investigates how animals could be more extensively part of the 21st century age of internet, games and enabling technologies. We join emerging researchers in an area that promises to be fun, useful, vibrant and very surprising.

List of Topics

We welcome long and short papers in the following areas:


We are facing an area where the most fundamental part of the unit of analysis, i.e. the interaction in between animals and humans, is questionable. In what sense should we think about the activities we are studying as a form of interaction between people and animal?

Systems and Design

ICT tools and future enabling technologies to help address these issues with fundamentally new approaches and ideas to connect animals to humans and to other animals for companionship and telecommunication, anywhere in the world. Systems developed to be multi-sensory and allow a wide sensorial range (audition, vision, haptic, gustation, and olfaction) to be conveyed as mixed reality media between humans and animals. What scenarios and/or applications should drive the development of the ACI research field? What are the differences between animal-only and animal-human centered scenarios? Is the emphasis to be put on learning-oriented scenarios, i.e., to achieve a learning goal or on well-being oriented ones, i.e., to enhance animals quality of life?

Animal Welfare

An important motivation in this research is to improve animal welfare. For example, a large percentage of dogs suffer from separation anxiety while being separated from their human companions during work or travel. Sport animals such as horses also can suffer from lack of contact with humans. Production animals such as pigs and cows, suffer from welfare problems related to the lack of interesting, exploratory, and vivid stimuli. How can their situation be improved using new digital technology?


What methods are appropriate to understand animal human interaction as well as how to conduct design oriented research in this area? How are the methodological tool boxes and requirements in individual scientific domains, such as human computer interaction, psychology, sociology, anthropology, made us of in design oriented research? What methodological frameworks could enable animals to actively participate in the design process as legitimate stakeholders, technology users and design contributors? Can non-linguistic methodologies be adapted from HCI or derived from other disciplines? Can linguistic methodologies derived from other disciplines be adapted to ACI?


Professor Adrian Cheok

General Chair

Imagineering Institute, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Associate Professor Clara Mancini

Program Chair

Open University London UK

Professor Oskar Juhlin

Paper and Notes Chair

Mobile Life VinnExcellence Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden

Program Committee

  • Heli Väätäjä, Tampere University of Technology Finland
  • Javier Jaén Martínez, University of Valencia
  • Shaun Lawson, University of Lincoln
  • Janet van der Linden, Open University U.K.
  • Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas University of Central Lancashire U.K.
  • Michelle Westerlaken Malmö University
  • Sarah Ritvo, York University
  • Joelle Alcaidinho, Whistle USA
  • David L. Roberts, North Carolina State University
  • Anna Zamansky, University of Haifa

Submission of long papers (up to 8 pages) and short papers (up to 4 pages) will receive at least three reviews. The papers will be published in the general proceedings of the Congress, with the proviso that at least one author attends the symposium in order to present the paper and participate in general congress activities.

When thinking about designing with animals, it may be difficult to overcome barriers between species. Yet, in ACI, attempting to do so is an important part of the design process. To help authors illustrate a design issue or space that might otherwise be difficult to convey, we are introducing a new video poster track. Authors can use video posters to excite participants’ imagination and help them reflect on issues they might not be familiar with, or to stimulate a lively discussion among attendees. Video poster submissions should include an abstract (maximum 250 words) and a video (maximum length 5 minutes). The abstract should be submitted using this A5 postcard template, while the video should be in MP4 format (maximum 50 MB). The submissions will be peer-reviewed and upon notification of acceptance the authors will be responsible for producing the postcards (minimum 100, using standard printing paper or thicker) and finalizing the video. At the congress, the videos will be looped on large screens and attendees will be able to read and take the postcards with them.

As a discipline ACI is still very much taking shape and similarly its community is still very much developing. This means that doing a master or doctoral degree in ACI is likely to present students with extra challenges which are specifically related to the novelty of their topics; it is also likely that some of these challenges will be shared. To provide master and doctoral students with additional support towards completing their degree, we are introducing a postgraduate consortium. This will be an evening session in which students will be able to briefly present their work to peers and researchers, and discuss specific challenges they might have encountered during their studies. In this way, they will be able to benefit from the perspective of the group in identifying possible ways forward and, vice versa, they will be able to offer the benefit of their own perspective to others.
Submissions to the postgraduate consortium should consist of an abstract (maximum 1000 words) submitted using the provided template. The abstract should briefly summarize the student’s research topic and articulate the main challenges that this poses. On a cover page, please including the following information:
1) Your name
2) your institution
3) your home department
4) your degree program
5) your anticipated date of graduation
6) your advisor's name (if you have one)
7) a list of up to three senior members of the ACI community who work in an area related to yours.
This information doesn't count towards the 1000 word limit for the abstract.
Upon notification of acceptance, all accepted abstracts will be made available to the participant and students will be required to read one another’s abstract ahead to the session.
Consortium Chair: Assistant Professor David L. Roberts, North Carolina State University

Important Dates ( Papers )

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2015

Notification: October 14, 2015

Camera ready deadline: October 28, 2015

Important Dates (Videos and Postgraduate Consortium)

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2015

Notification: October 14, 2015

Camera ready deadline: October 28, 2015


All submissions of full and short papers should use the ACM SIGCHI e paper format: Participants are to register with ACE 2015 conference which is hosting this congress

Accepted papers will be published in the proceedings of ACE 2015 and will be available via the ACM Digital Library as part of its International Conference Proceedings Series.

Submission should be done at the EasyChair website by following the link Please make sure to select the correct track on ACE submission page

Register for ACI 2015


Time Author Title
09:00 - Congress Opening
9:00-10:30 Paper session 1: For the Wild Patricia Pons, Javier Jaen and Alejandro Catala What are you looking at, kitty? Developing a depth-based tracking system for interactive playful environments
Hanna Wirman and Ida Kathrine H. Jorgensen Designing for intuitive use for non-human users
Marcus Carter, Sarah Webber and Sally Sherwen Naturalism and ACI: Augmenting Zoo Enclosures with Digital Technology (short paper)
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break (display of video posters)
11:00 – 13:00 Paper session 2: Body that Talks Hiroki Kobayashi Playful Rocksalt System: Animal-Computer Interaction Design in Wild Environments (short paper)
Fredrik Aspling, Oskar Juhlin and Elisa Chiodo Smelling, Pulling, and Looking: Unpacking Similarities and Differences in Dog and Human City Life (long paper)
Jean-Loup Rault, Sarah Webber and Marcus Carter Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Animal Welfare Science and Animal-Computer Interaction (short paper)
Mike Winters, Rita Brugarolas Brufau, John Majikes, Sean Mealin, Sherrie Yuschak, Barbara Sherman, Alper Bozkurt and David Roberts Knowledge Engineering for Unsupervised Canine Posture Detection from IMU Data (long paper)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break (display of video posters)
14:00 – 15:30 Paper session 3: Perspectives Giancarlo Valentin, Joelle Alcaidinho, Melody Moore Jackon, Ayanna Howard and Thad Starner Towards a Canine-Human Communication System Based on Head Gestures (long paper)
Olivia Johnston-Wilder, Clara Mancini, Brendan Aengenheister, Joe Mills, Rob Harris and Claire Guest Sensing the Shape of Canine Responses to Cancer (short paper)
Sean Mealin, Mike Winters, Ignacio X. Domínguez, Michelle Marrero-García, Alper Bozkurt, Barbara Sherman and David Roberts Towards the Non-Visual Monitoring of Canine Physiology in Real-Time by Blind Handlers (long paper)
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break (display of video posters)
16:00 – 18:00 Postgraduate Consortium
16:00 - 16:30 Sarah Webber Design and Evaluation of Interactive Technology for Human-Animal Encounters at the Zoo
16:30 - 17:00 Fredrik Aspling Animals, Plants, People and Digital Technology: Exploring and Understanding Multispecies-Computer Interaction
17:00 - 17:50 PANEL Building a Research Agenda in Animal-Computer Interaction
17:50 – 18:00 Congress Closing
18:00 - Social Dinner

Contact Us

This congress is a part of ACE (Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology) 2015 Conferences.