Kristin Williams

I am an Assistant Professor in the school of Computer Science at Emory University.

An Upcycled IoT:
What if programming cutting-edge technologies were so approachable anyone could imbue them with their own meanings and ways of life? Today’s families use household objects to organize and manage daily life in idiosyncratic ways that resist generalization and differ from family to family. If the Internet of Things (IoT) is to fit with these idiosyncratic arrangements, it will need to be customizable, lightweight, and substantially cheaper (perhaps even <$0.10). To enable this kind of IoT, I use emerging techniques in backscatter communication to create a battery-free and wireless user interface that incorporates existing possessions into an IoT ecosystem through interactive stickers. Instead of replacing everyday objects in favor of internet-enabled equivalents (e.g., a smart bulb for a lightbulb), my work allows existing possessions to be upcycled with IoT: like giving an old, favorite teddy bear a friendly, voice interface. As a human computer interaction (HCI) researcher, I enable an Upcycled IoT by both studying how households use everyday objects and building lightweight, customizable technology to integrate with these possessions.

I received a PhD from the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. I was advised by Scott Hudson and Jess Hammer. I was also part of the wonderful research groups the Devlab and the OH! Lab.

I am looking for students who want to contribute to creating an Upcycled IoT.

This includes students who will be enrolled at Emory in the Fall or those who would like to apply to the master's or PhD program. Please get in touch if this sounds like you.

Selected Publications (Peer Reviewed)

Other Writings (Light Peer Review + Invited Articles)