The Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces (SocialNUI) is a place of collaborative research for creating and understanding innovative Natural User Interfaces (NUI) that facilitate human communication, collaboration and social interaction.
SocialNUI is an academic–industry research centre located within the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.
In December 2013 Microsoft Australia, Microsoft Research, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government launched SocialNUI in Melbourne. Academics and students have an opportunity to collaborate with world-leading Microsoft Researchers through the centre.
SocialNUI’s research agenda addresses new forms of human-computer interactions offered by emerging technologies beyond those with keyboard and mouse, in particular those supporting gesture and voice. The research within the centre broadly addresses four domains of home and at work, public spaces, education and health.
To explore how emerging computer technologies influence human behaviour in social environments and to design natural user interface technologies to help people communicate, play, learn and work together to support social interactions.
- Undertake ground-breaking applied research in the field of Social Natural User Interface (NUI) technologies.
- Explore and develop new SocialNUI technologies for unique, responsive, intuitive and productive user experiences.
- Address research challenges in a societal-focused centre working on practical problems with commercial potential.
- What is a Social NUI?
Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) provide richer ways for interacting with the digital world in ways that are natural and appropriate to the task at hand.Find out more
- Our people
Details of our staff and researchers from Microsoft and the University of Melbourne.Find out more
As a collaborative research centre we are a partnership of industry and academic members.Partner organisations
- Advisory board
The strategic direction of the centre is supported by an advisory board comprised of leading figures from Microsoft and the University of Melbourne.Find out more
The Microsoft SocialNUI Research Centre focuses on the user experience of information communication technology (ICT) where the interactive technologies involve gesture, voice, gaze or other natural user interface techniques and where multiple people engage in a shared social context.
Research within the centre will explore how these interactive technologies can enable new forms of social and collaborative behaviours, including how people communicate, play, learn and work together in different settings — in the home, public spaces, education and health.
Our research is based around four themes of: Home, Public Spaces, Education, and Health.Find out more
Recruitment opportunities including Postdoctoral Research Fellow positions and Graduate Research Student Scholarships.Find out more
Descriptions of our current research projects.Find out more
Aggarwal, D., Ploderer, B., & Vetere, F. (2015) Addressing research gaps in teleconsultation settings. In CHI 2015 Workshop on Everyday Telepresence: Emerging Practices and Future Research Directions. Seoul, Korea. [PDF]
Ferdous, H. (2015) Technology at Mealtime: Beyond the ‘Ordinary’, In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2015), ACM Press, pp. 195–198 [PDF, DOI]
Awori, K., Vetere, F., & Smith, W. (2015) Transnationalism, Indigenous Knowledge and Technology: Insights from the Kenyan Diaspora. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2015). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 3759–3768 [PDF, DOI]
Fisk, L., Carter, M., Rostami Yeganeh, B., Vetere, F., & Ploderer, B. (2014) Implicit and explicit interactions in video mediated collaboration, In Proceedings of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference (OzCHI 2014). New York: ACM Press, pp. 250–259 [PDF, DOI]
News & Events
Proudly hosted by SocialNUI and the University of Melbourne.Event
How does technology affect our brains?
SocialNUI features in an article in The Voice supplement of The Age.News
Research moves from the lab to the street
Imagine a street dance in which the participants interact not just with their flesh-and-blood counterparts but also with lights and sounds controlled by the dancers’ own movements.News
Screen Ecologies, Multi-Gaming and Designing for Different Registers of Engagement
I have become deeply fascinated with a gaming practice that I have recently realised is far more widespread than my own obsessive need to consume digital content; multi-gaming …
A blog post by SocialNUI Research Fellow, Dr Marcus Carter.News
Radio interview: Encounters Project
SocialNUI and Victorian College of the Arts interview on the Encounters Project on 3RRR’s Byte Into It. Listen to the interview on the 3RRR website.News
Southbank springs to life for SummerSalt arts festival
An article from The Age.News
University of Melbourne takes arts to the streets for SummerSalt
Encounters explores the world of human-computer interaction. Encounters was produced by researchers from SocialNUI, in partnership with VCA.News
Collective Bodies, Creative SpacesEvent
SocialNUI interview on 3RRR’s Byte Into It
Listen to an interview conducted with our director, Frank Vetere, and one of our research fellows, Greg Wadley, on Wednesday 5 November 2014. The interview starts at 20:34 and is on the 3RRR website.News
Social NUI Workshop
Final papers from a workshop on the social aspects of NUI, held at DIS 2014, Vancouver.News
Microsoft’s Parliamentary Technology Showcase, Canberra
Researchers from the Melbourne Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces (NUI) demonstrated their research at the Microsoft’s Parliamentary Technology Showcase on the 18 March 2014.News
Australia becomes home to new hi-tech research centre
Microsoft and the University of Melbourne partner with the State Government of Victoria to open SocialNUI, a research centre dedicated to new social interactive technologies.News
World first for Melbourne as Microsoft opens social interactive tech lab
An article from The Sydney Morning Herald.News
Microsoft, University of Melbourne join forces on Natural User Interface
University of Melbourne is now home to the world’s first Natural User Interface (NUI) research centre.News