Prof. Dr. Otmar Hilliges

Prof. Dr. Otmar Hilliges

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Advanced Interactive Technologies Lab, ETH Zürich

+41 44 632 39 56
+41 44 632 16 59
Universitätstrasse 6, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
ETH Zurich, Department of Computer Science, CNB, H 103.1


I'm originally from Munich, Germany where I was born and raised. Currently I'm an Assistant Professor of Computer Science (tenure-track) at ETH Zurich. I lead the Advanced Interactive Technologies lab at the Institute of Pervasive Computing our group is also affiliated with the Institute of Visual Computing. Prior to joining ETH I was Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, in the I3D group(2010-2013). I was awarded a Diplom (equiv. MSc) in Computer Science from Technische Universität München, Germany (Summa Cum Laude 2004) and my PhD in Computer Science from LMU München, Germany (Summa Cum Laude 2009). Following my studies, I spent two years as a postdoc at Microsoft Research Cambridge (2010-2012).

Research Interests

My research focuses on the intersection of input sensing technologies, display technologies, computer graphics, and human computer interaction. My main objective is to push the boundaries of what humans can do with computers and how they interact with them. Touch enabled phones and tablets have created novel user experiences and have now entered the mainstream market. Motion sensing cameras such as Kinect promise to have a similarly profound effect on how we use computers. In my research I aim to combine emerging input and output technologies in interesting and novel ways to create and study the next generation of non-traditional user interface technologies.

In particular I’m interested in multi-touch, physical and tactile input, 3D and augmented reality (AR) technologies and applications. I have worked on novel, direct-touch volumetric displays, room-based sensing for user interaction from multiple depth-sensing cameras, dense 3D surface reconstruction from a single moving depth camera for AR applications, and situated AR setups allowing for free-form dexterous interactions with spatially registered graphics. My approach covers low-level input sensing technologies, algorithms to process and interpret this data, through representations of this sensor data within virtual worlds, to displaying graphics, and finally understanding the implications for user interaction.

Academic and Professional Activities


Technical Program Comittee Member

Organizing Comittee Member


I routinely review paper for ACM CHI, UIST, ITS, TEI, Ubicomp, IEEE ISMAR, 3DV as well as for many journal publications.

Selected Publications

Please see our full publications list. Also check Google Scholar, DBLP or the ACM DL.


Rig Animation with a Tangible and Modular Input Device

Authors Glauser Oliver, Wan-Chun Ma, Daniele Panozzo, Alec Jacobson, O. Hilliges, O. Sorkine
To appear in ProceedingsACM SIGGRAPH, Anaheim, CA, USA, Jul 2016


Airways: Optimization-Based Planning of Quadrotor Trajectories according to High-Level User Goals

Authors C. Gebhardt*, B. Hepp*, T. Nägeli, S. Stevsic, O. Hilliges
To appear in ProceedingsACM SIGCHI, San Jose, CA, USA, May 2016
*The first two authors contributed equally to this work.


DefSense: Computational Design of Customized Deformable Input Devices

Authors M. Bächer, B. Hepp*, F. Pece*, P. G. Kry, B. Bickel, B. Thomaszewski, O. Hilliges
To appear in ProceedingsACM SIGCHI, San Jose, CA, USA, May 2016
*These two authors contributed equally to this work.


In-air Gestures Around Unmodified Mobile Devices

Authors J. Song, G. Sörös, F. Pece, S. Fanello, S. Izadi, C. Keskin, O. Hilliges
In ProceedingsACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Oct. 2014


Environment-independent Formation Flight for Micro Aerial Vehicles

Authors T. Naegeli, C. Conte, A. Domahidi, M. Morari, O. Hilliges
In ProceedingsIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 2014


Tangible and Modular Input Device for Character Articulation

Authors A. Jacobson, D. Panozzo, O. Glauser, C. Pradalier, O. Hilliges, O. Sorkine
In ProceedingsACM SIGGRAPH, Vancouver, Ca, Aug 2014


Type–Hover–Swipe in 96 Bytes: A Motion Sensing Mechanical Keyboard

Authors S. Taylor, C. Keskin, O. Hilliges, S. Izadi
In ProceedingsACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM SIGCHI), Toronto, Ca, Apr 2014 / Best Paper Award


Digits: Freehand 3D Interactions Anywhere Using a Wrist-worn Gloveless Sensor

Authors D. Kim, O. Hilliges, S. Izadi, A. Butler, J. Chen, I. Oikonomidis, P. Olivier
In ProceedingsACM User Interface and Software Technologies, Boston, MA, USA, Oct 2012 / runner-up Best Demo Award


HoloDesk: Direct 3D Interactions with a Situated See-Through Display

Authors O. Hilliges, D. Kim, S. Izadi, M. Weiss
In ProceedingsHuman Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI), Austin, Tx, USA, Apr 2012