Simon Robinson

Research Officer, FIT Lab

News: Our book “There’s Not An App for That” is now available – order from Amazon, or find out more at

I'm a research officer in the Future Interaction Technology Lab at Swansea University, working with Matt Jones and Jen Pearson.

My research focuses on mobile interactions designed with and for people in rural or developing regions where connectivity and technology availability are often low. I also have a particular interest in low-attention, engaging, sensor-based interactions with mobile devices. My PhD thesis explored and developed these sorts of techniques, proposing Eyes-Off Physically Grounded Mobile Interaction. My book There’s Not An App for That, co-authored with Matt Jones and Gary Marsden, explores these and related topics in depth.

My work has been part of the EPSRC-funded Reshaping the expected future, Breaking the glass, Scaling the rural enterprise, Community-generated media for the next billion and Multimodal, negotiated interaction in mobile scenarios projects. Please see the publications below or my additional work page for more details.

I currently teach the undergraduate module “Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction” (CS-200) – see Blackboard for course materials.



  1. “There’s Not An App for That: Mobile User Experience Design for Life” – Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden and Matt Jones.

    Available to order from Amazon. Find out more at

Conference papers

  1. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, A. Joshi, S. Ahire, “Better Together: Disaggregating Mobile Services for Emergent Users” Accepted to appear in Proceedings of MobileHCI 2017, Vienna, September 2017.
  2. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, C. Coutrix, M. Jones, “Evaluating Deformable Devices with Emergent Users” Accepted to appear in Proceedings of MobileHCI 2017, Vienna, September 2017.
  3. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, A. Joshi, S. Ahire, D. Sahoo, S. Subramaniam, “Chameleon Devices: Investigating More Secure and Discreet Mobile Interactions via Active Camouflaging” In Proceedings of CHI 2017, Denver, May 2017. Awarded honourable mention.
  4. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, “PosterPointing: Making Paper Displays Interactive Using Mobile Devices” In Proceedings of AfriCHI 2016 (pages 170–175), Nairobi, November 2016.
  5. S. Robinson, C. Coutrix, J. Pearson, J. Rosso, M. Torquato, L. Nigay, M. Jones, “Emergeables: Deformable Displays for Continuous Eyes-Free Mobile Interaction” In Proceedings of CHI 2016 (pages 3793–3805), San Jose, May 2016. Awarded honourable mention.
  6. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, “Q-arrgh! — Commandeering Everyday Digital Codes” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2015 (pages 182–186), Copenhagen, August 2015.
  7. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “It’s About Time: Smartwatches as Public Displays” In Proceedings of CHI 2015 (pages 1257–1266), Seoul, April 2015.
  8. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “PaperChains: Dynamic Sketch+Voice Annotations” In Proceedings of CSCW 2015 (pages 383–392), Vancouver, March 2015.
  9. N. Bidwell, S. Robinson, E. Vartiainen, M. Jones, M. Lalmas, G. Marsden, T. Reitmaier, K. Eglinton, “Designing Social Media for Community Information Sharing in Rural South Africa” In Proceedings of SAICSIT 2014 (pages 104–114), Centurion, October 2014.
  10. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, “A Billion Signposts: Repurposing Barcodes for Indoor Navigation” In Proceedings of CHI 2014 (pages 639–642), Toronto, April 2014.
  11. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, “AudioCanvas: Internet-Free Interactive Audio Photos” In Proceedings of CHI 2014 (pages 3735–3738), Toronto, April 2014.
  12. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, G. Buchanan, M. Jones, “TicQR: Flexible, Lightweight Linking of Paper and Digital Content using Mobile Phones” In Proceedings of INTERACT 2013 (pages 220–228), Cape Town, Sept. 2013.
  13. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, A. Nanavati, N. Rajput, “ACQR: Acoustic Quick Response Codes for Content Sharing on Low End Phones with No Internet Connectivity” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2013 (pages 308–317), Munich, Aug. 2013. Awarded honourable mention.
  14. D. Frohlich, S. Robinson, K. Eglinton, M. Jones, E. Vartiainen, “Creative Cameraphone Use in Rural Developing Regions” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2012 (pages 181–190), San Francisco, September 2012.
  15. S. Robinson, E. Vartiainen, M. Jones, G. Marsden, “PicoTales: Collaborative Authoring of Animated Stories using Handheld Projectors” In Proceedings of CSCW 2012 (pages 671–680), Seattle, February 2012.
  16. N. Bidwell, M. Lalmas, G. Marsden, B. Dlutu, S. Ntlangano, A. Manjingolo, W. Tucker, M. Jones, S. Robinson, E. Vartiainen, I. Klampanos, “Designing for ‘Callback’ in Rural Africa” In Proceedings of IWIPS 2011 (pages 117–138), Kuching, July 2011.
  17. S. Robinson, N. Rajput, M. Jones, A. Jain, S. Sahay, A. Nanavati, “TapBack: Towards Richer Mobile Interfaces in Impoverished Contexts” In Proceedings of CHI 2011 (pages 2733–2736), Vancouver, May 2011.
  18. S. Robinson, M. Jones, P. Eslambolchilar, R. Murray-Smith, M. Lindborg, “‘I Did It My Way’: Moving Away from the Tyranny of Turn-by-Turn Pedestrian Navigation” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2010 (pages 341–344), Lisbon, Sept. 2010. Nominated for best paper.
  19. J. Williamson, S. Robinson, C. Stewart, R. Murray-Smith, M. Jones, S. Brewster, “Social Gravity: A Virtual Elastic Tether for Casual, Privacy-Preserving Pedestrian Rendezvous” In Proceedings of CHI 2010 (pages 1485–1494), Atlanta, April 2010.
  20. S. Robinson, P. Eslambolchilar, M. Jones, “Sweep-Shake: Finding Digital Resources in Physical Environments” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2009 (pages 85–94), Bonn, Sept. 2009. Winner of best paper.
  21. S. Robinson, P. Eslambolchilar, M. Jones, “Evaluating Haptics for Information Discovery While Walking” In Proceedings of BCS HCI 2009 (pages 93–102), Cambridge, Sept. 2009.
  22. S. Robinson, P. Eslambolchilar, M. Jones, “Point-to-GeoBlog: Gestures and Sensors to Support User Generated Content Creation” In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2008 (pages 197–206), Amsterdam, Sept. 2008.

Journal articles

  1. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “BookMark: Appropriating Existing Infrastructure to Facilitate Scalable Indoor Navigation” IJHCS 103(3): 22–34.
  2. M. Jones, S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Joshi, D. Raju, C. Mbogo, S. Wangari, A. Joshi, E. Cutrell, R. Harper, “Beyond “Yesterday’s Tomorrow”: Future-Focused Mobile Interaction Design By and For Emergent Users” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 21(1): 157–171, 2016.
  3. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Exploring Low-Cost, Internet-Free Information Access for Resource-Constrained Communities” TOCHI 23(6), Article 36, 2016.
  4. A. Lucero, J. Clawson, J. Fischer, S. Robinson, “Mobile collocated interactions with wearables: past, present, and future” mUX 5 — Special Issue on Mobile Collocated Interactions with Wearables, Article 6, 2016.
  5. L. Betsworth, H. Bowen, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Performative Technologies for Heritage Site Regeneration” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 18(7): 1631–1650, 2014.
  6. N. Bidwell, M. Siya, G. Marsden, W. Tucker, M. Tshemese, N. Gaven, S. Ntlangano, S. Robinson, K. Eglinton, “Walking and the Social Life of Solar Charging in Rural Africa” TOCHI 20(4) — Special Issue on Sustainable HCI through Everyday Practices, Article 22, 2013.
  7. M. L. Wilson, D. Craggs, S. Robinson, M. Jones, K. Brimble, “Pico-ing into the Future of Mobile Projection and Contexts” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 16(1): 39–52, 2012.
  8. S. Robinson, P. Eslambolchilar, M. Jones, “Exploring Casual Point-and-Tilt Interactions for Mobile Geo-Blogging” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 14(4): 363–379, 2010.
  1. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, T. Reitmaier, M. Jones, A. Joshi, C. Parab, F. Mogoi, S. Jenson, “Exploring the use of the Physical Web with Resource-Constrained Communities” In CHI 2017 Case Studies, Denver, May 2017. Awarded best case study.
  2. S. Robinson, J. Pearson, M. Jones, “AudioCanvas: Interactive Audio Photos” In Advances in Printing and Media Technology XLI(I):133–136 (Proceedings of IARIGAI 2014, Swansea, September 2014). Awarded third prize for best paper.
  3. A. Lucero, M. Jones, T. Jokela, S. Robinson, “Mobile Collocated Interactions: Taking an Offline Break Together” In interactions 20(2):26–32, 2013.
  4. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, “Developing Our World Views” In interactions 20(2):68–71, 2013.
  5. S. Robinson, “Heads-up Engagement with the Real World: Multimodal Techniques for Bridging the Physical-Digital Divide” In CHI 2010 Doctoral Consortium (pages 2895–2898), Atlanta, April 2010.

Workshop items, works-in-progress, late-breaking work & demos

  1. C. Steer, J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Deformable Paint Palette: Actuated Force Controls for Digital Painting” Accepted to appear in CHI 2017 Late-Breaking Work, Denver, May 2017
  2. C. Steer, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Hands On With Nature: Designing Tangible Interactions With Plants” In NatureCHI 2016: Workshop on Unobtrusive User Experiences with Technology in Nature, San Jose, May 2016.
  3. C. Steer, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Growth, Change and Decay: Plants and Interaction Possibilities” In Proceedings of CHI 2015 (Works-in-Progress), Seoul, April 2015.
  4. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, N. Rajput, M. Jones, A. Nanavati, “Demo: Audio QR Codes for Voice Service Position Sharing” In SiMPE 2013: Workshop on Speech (and Sound) in Mobile and Pervasive Environments, Munich, August 2013.
  5. L. Betsworth, S. Robinson, M. Jones, “Pico Projection for Performative Place Based Services” In EIPS 2013: Workshop on Experiencing Interactivity in Public Spaces, Paris, April 2013.
  6. S. Robinson, D. Frohlich, K. Eglinton, M. Jones, J. Marshall, A. Stringer, K. Langhein, “Com-Me: Community Media Toolkit” In Digital Futures 2012 demos, Aberdeen, October 2012.
  7. J. Pearson, S. Robinson, M. Jones, A. Nanavati, “Sharing Voice Sites on the Spoken Web” In MWB 2012: Workshop on Mobility and Web Behaviours, San Francisco, September 2012.
  8. N. Bidwell, M. Lalmas, G. Marsden, B. Dlutu, M. Jones, W. Tucker, E. Vartiainen, I. Klampanos, S. Robinson, “Callback & Social Media Sharing in Rural Africa” Technical Report, November 2011.
  9. S. Robinson, E. Vartiainen, M. Jones, G. Marsden, “Impromptu Collaborative Projection for Storytelling” In MP2 2011: Workshop on Mobile and Personal Projection, Vancouver, May 2011.
  10. S. Robinson, M. Jones, “HaptiProjection: Multimodal Mobile Information Discovery” In Ubiprojection 2010: Workshop on Personal Projection, Helsinki, May 2010.
  11. M. L. Wilson, S. Robinson, D. Craggs, K. Brimble, M. Jones, “Pico-ing into the Future of Mobile Projector Phones” In CHI 2010 Works-in-Progress (pages 3997–4002), Atlanta, April 2010.


  1. S. Robinson, “Eyes-Off Physically Grounded Mobile Interaction”. PhD Thesis, Swansea University, October 2012.

Publications and further information are also available from ACM, DBLP or Google Scholar profiles. Details of other work, such as theses, internships, workshops, invited demos and talks are available on the additional work page.


Photo of Simon Robinson
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  • Office: Future Interaction Technology Lab, Faraday Tower room 503
  • Address: Future Interaction Technology Lab, Computer Science Department, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK
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