Course overview

This is the web page for HCIN-720 from Fall 2015. The current 720 web page may be found here.

This class is about prototyping physical artifacts that are connected to the Internet: allowing things sensed about the physical world to be acted on in the cloud, and to allow things happening on the Internet to be reflected in the physical world. The focus of the class is on learning by doing.

Completed Projects

Here are some projects completed by HCIN-720 students in Fall 2015.

Project 1

The goal of this project was to build an ambient display (more info).

Project 2

The goal of this project was to build an internet-connected device to solve a real-world problem (more info).


This class has been heavily inspired, and in some cases modeled on, a number of classes taught at other universities:




There are quite a few Javascript books available via the RIT Library. Use this search link for a list of them.

A couple of books to look for, whether online, physically via the library, or buying them yourself:

Other online resources:

Books about ubiquitous computing

These are books that might be interesting for you to look at in connection with this class. Some of them I’ll use material from, but I will provide you with anything I want you to read. I have copies of all of these that you can look at or potentially borrow if I’m not in need of it for class.

Mobile User Experience: Patterns to Make Sense of it All by Adrian Mendoza
A book about designing for mobile devices. Goes into detail about iOS and Android and how to design good experiences for each. Includes details about mobile wireframing, patterns of use (launcher, tray, lists, rotations, service log-ins, camera, maps/location), prototyping, web vs apps, and metrics.
Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design by Mike Kuniavsky
This book goes into detail about designing user experiences for ubicomp devices. If we were going to have a textbook, this would be a good candidate. I'll use some of the material from this book in class. If you'd like to have a look at it, let me know.
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield
This is the other book I would have used as a textbook. It's pretty old at this point but is very thoughtful, illustrating how ubicomp is, in some ways, inevitable. It brings up a lot of ethical and societal concerns and implications.
Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling
Like many books by Bruce Sterling, this one is a little bit in love with itself. It's also fairly old at this point. It brings up a lot of thoughtful ideas around what it might mean for devices to be Internet-enabled.