Face of Ignacio Avellino

Ignacio Avellino

Student Assistant

Project Space\/HiWi Room
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User-centered design through rapid prototyping is the ultimate tool to explore and build interfaces. This process is a natural way to unveil people's mind: what do people need? How do they perceive technology? How can interaction be improved? HCI helps to breach the gap between people and technology. If you ever started using a system and bonded with it quickly and intuitively, you've probably already come across the result of serious HCI research.

Me? I am a graduate from the EuMI joint master program between RWTH Aachen and UNIT Trento. My thesis was carried out at the Media Computing Group @ RWTH and the Signals & Interactive Systems Laboratory @ UNITN. Currently I work at this institute as an assistant, but only until the end of March. In April 2014 I moved to in|situ to do research initially on remote collaboration on wall-sized displays.

Master Thesis

A framework for inexpensive and unobtrusive tracking of everyday objects and single-touch detection (2013)

In this work I built and evaluated a system for tracking 3D objects in space with 6 degrees of freedom, as well as detect single touches in their surface. Everyday objects are scanned using a 3D scanner and later tracked using only a Kinect depth camera. No markers or mountings are required. The system can be used to investigate interaction with everyday objects, including how the object is moved and rotated in space, and where it is being touched. This work is part of the ongoing project AURA. Full thesis download
Check out a video recording of my presentation below. Warning - this video contains a very strong latin accent. No responsibility held for any damage to your ears :).

Tracking videos


A two-colored solid model (left) follows the movements of the object (right). The solid model corresponds to the estimation of the position with 6DoF of the object, whereas the blue points correspond to the input point cloud from the Kinect. The tracking is done using only a Kinect depth camera!

Student Assistant

I work with Christian Corsten on the Aixplorer City Guide Blog since July 2012. Through this portal, visitors will be able to revive and publish their trip on the web, such that their close ones can take a look at their fabulous time in Aachen!

Current projects

WaterPong (2013) was our UIST 2013 Student Innovation Contest which won the Student Innovation Contest People's Award on Oct 10, 2013! It's a mash between ping pong and air hockey, but this time with water pumps! On an interactive table for two players, each one can shoot water from four pumps by pushing humongous round buttons. The goal is to propel a ball towards your opponent's side in order to score points! Also you can pick up powerups on the way that will help you beat your opponent.

Hardware and Software development team

Past projects

AR Voice Search for Android (2012) is an augmented reality voice search tool created using the Mixare AR framework open-source code. Developed during my internship at SISL—UNITN Trento. Check out the youtube video!

Software Developer
Touch n' go multitouch game controller (2011) is a multitouch game controller designed and built for the lecture Designing Interactive Systems I. It uses Frustrated Total Internal Reflection to detect touches on a non-planar surface, through the emission of infrared light detected by an infrared camera. The device, built from simple electronics and laser-cut parts, allows people to play games which require steering and two button commands—accelerate and break. Check the youtube video to see how finger touches are detected!

Designer, Software Developer
Eco-mmunity (2011) is a prototype of a Facebook application, developed to make users aware of energy consumptions in their household. This mini-project, performed as a part of the Designing Interactive Systems II course, aimed at using the concepts of serious gaming and competition in order to bring consciousness among users and help in reducing the amount of energy consumed on a daily-basis.

Part of the creation and development team
Magic Wako (2011) was conceived during the User-Oriented System Design and Personalized Information Services Lab at Fraunhofer FIT, Sankt Augustin, in order to study user interaction in mixed-reality games. Physical interaction with an augmented object versus interaction through a button was studied. A hand-held device—composed by a pico projector, a camera and a smartphone—was used in order to search and hit a mole, which came out of 9 different possible holes. Although there was a button designated for hitting the mole, users instinctively used their hands in order to physically push the mole back into the hole. Full paper. Check out a video of an early iteration in the design process. Download the flash demo game for windows or mac (game credit: Fabio Mauri).

Part of the creation and development team



  • Christian Corsten, Ignacio Avellino, Max Möllers and Jan Borchers. Instant User Interfaces: Repurposing Everyday Objects as Input Devices.  In ITS '13: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 71–80,October 2013.
    MoviePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Ignacio Avellino. A Framework for Inexpensive and Unobtrusive Tracking of Everyday objects and single-touch detection. Master's Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, April 2013.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry

Publications outside this department

  • Franzen, D. and Avellino, I. and Mauri, F. and Jentsch, M. and Zimmermann, A. - Magic Wako-User Interaction in a Projector-based Augmented Reality Game. In CONTENT 2011, The Third International Conference on Creative Content Technologies pages 24-28. Rome, Italy, September 2011.

Online courses

I'm a fan of online courses, and especially of coursera! Here are some courses I've taken





Competences and skills

Order: DESC according to the level of experience.

  • Programming Languages
    • Java, J2EE (I'm a certified programmer!)
    • C#
    • C++
    • C
    • Objective-C
    • Python
  • Web Development
    • HTML, CSS, Javascript
    • Ruby
    • PHP
  • Hardware
    • Kinect
    • VICON motion tracker
    • Making NVIDIA graphic cards work on a mac
  • Statistical data analysis
    • General basic knowledge
    • JMP
  • Languages
    • Spanish
    • English
    • Portuguese
    • Italian
    • French
    • German


  • Networking (both in the real and virtual world)
  • Reading psychology books

File Description File size Downloads Last modified
20121206HCI.pdf   149 kB 2371 2013-10-08 11:12
20130625Design_Of_Artifacts_In_Society.pdf   202 kB 2430 2013-10-08 11:15
20130809Intro_To_Psy.pdf   91 kB 2385 2013-10-08 11:16
20131016Social_Psy.pdf   142 kB 2506 2013-10-16 14:06

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