Featuring Pedro Lopes

In the early days of computing, user and device were distant, often in separate rooms. In the 1970s, personal computers “moved in” with users. In the 1990s, mobile devices put computing into users’ pockets. Now wearables have brought computing into constant physical contact with the user’s skin. Join Pedro Lopes as he asks, what is the next logical step?

While many argue that the next generation of interactive devices will be directly implanted inside the user’s body—not unlike existing pacemakers, insulin pumps, and cochlear implants—Lopes argues that what we see today is devices moving toward the “interface” of body and world. To advance this path, Lopes’s Human Computer Integration lab has created a set of devices that intentionally borrow parts of the user’s body for input and output. Their devices fall under two main categories: (1) devices that increase immersion in virtual reality by simulating large forces such as wind, physical impact, or heavy objects; (2) devices that allow users to access information eyes-free using proprioception (the sense of one’s own bodily movement and position). These interactive systems move past mobile and wearable computing in that they borrow parts of the user’s body, implementing a novel interaction mode.

The event will begin with a 60-minute welcome reception, followed by the lecture presentation and a postreception.

Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.

Event Details

6:00 p.m. Registration and networking
7:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:15 p.m. Reception

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Odyssey, and Phoenix philanthropic societies

Learn more about UChicago giving societies.

Featured Faculty


Pedro Lopes is an assistant professor in computer science at the University of Chicago, where he leads the Human Computer Integration lab. Lopes’s research group focuses on understanding how to integrate computer interfaces with the human body—creating the interface paradigm that supersedes wearable computing. They have created wearable muscle stimulation devices that enable, for example, a user to manipulate a tool they have never seen before, accelerate reaction time, read and write information without using a screen, and transform an arm into a plotter to solve complex problems with pen and paper. Their work has been published at top-tier conferences (ACM CHI, ACM UIST, Cerebral Cortex), and Lopes and his students have received one Best Paper award, three Best Talk awards and two Best Paper nominations. Their work has also captured the interest of media, such as MIT Technology Review, NBC, Discovery Channel, NewScientist, and Wired and has been shown at Ars Electronica and World Economic Forum. Learn more about Lopes’s research group’s work.