Hi, I am Misha.

Photo credit: Oscar Rosello

I am a PhD candidate in the Fluid Interfaces group with Prof Pattie Maes at the MIT Media Lab graduating in June 2018. I work in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI), specifically related to virtual, augmented and mixed reality. The goal of my work is to create systems that use the entire body for input and output and automatically adapt to each user’s unique state and context. I call my concept “perceptual engineering,” i.e., immersive systems that alter the user’s perception (or more specifically the input signals to their perception) and influence or manipulate it in subtle ways. For example, they modify a user’s sense of balance or orientation, manipulate their visual attention and more, all without the user’s explicit awareness, and in order to assist or guide their interactive experience in an effortless way.

The systems I build use the entire body for input and output, i.e., they can use movement, like walking, or a physiological signal, like breathing as input, and can output signals that actuate the user’s vestibular system with electrical pulses, causing the individual to move or turn involuntarily. HCI up to now has relied upon deliberate, intentional usage, both for input (e.g., touch, voice, typing) and for output (interpreting what the system tells you, shows you, etc.). In contrast, I develop techniques and build systems that do not require this deliberate, intentional user interface but are able to use the body as the interface for more implicit and natural interactions.

My perceptual engineering approach has been shown to (1) increase the user’s sense of presence in VR/MR, (2) provide novel ways to communicate between the user and the digital system using proprioception and other sensory modalities, and (3) serve as a platform to question the boundaries of our sense of agency and trust.

I enjoy doodling, photography and playing video games. I also like glass blowing and kyudo. You can contact me at sra (at) media (dot) mit (dot) edu.


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