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(and very brave to provoke a dinosaur in a dark cave)

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Figure 1: A picture of me.

John Hardy is a postgraduate and PhD Student of Lancaster University in the UK. He is currently a member of the Highwire course being offered by the computing department.

During the period 2006-2009 he undertook a BS.c in Computer Science Innovation and graduated with First Class Honours and the chancellor's medal. After this he received a distinguished M.Res in Digital Innovation.

Currently, his research projects are centred around transient digital signage. This divides into both the supporting plumbing and subsequent evaluation of the technology once applied. In addition, he has invested interests in the fields of game development processes, graphics, computer vision, software engineering, (embedded) systems, social computing and HCI.

In his my free time I like to develop computer games, ride quad bikes and generally go and do exciting things.

There are 10 secrets hidden on this website. How many can you find?


The following are peer-reviewed academic publications.

I typically publish articles about computer science and interactive systems design.

~ 2013 ~

John Hardy, Carl Ellis, Jason Alexander and Nigel Davies 2013. Ubi Displays: A Toolkit for the Rapid Creation of Interactive Projected Displays. In Proceedings of the 2nd The International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (PERDIS '13). ACM, Google HQ, Mountain View, CA, USA

~ 2012 ~

John Hardy, and Jason Alexander 2012. Toolkit Support for Interactive Projected Displays. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, BEST PAPER AWARD

John Hardy. 2012. Reflections: a year spent with an interactive desk. In ACM Interactions Magazine (Volume 19 Issue 6, November + December 2012. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 56-61.

John Hardy. 2012. Experiences: a year in the life of an interactive desk. In Proceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 679-688.

Sebastian Weise, John Hardy, Pragya Agarwal, Paul Coulton, Adrian Friday, Mike Chiasson. 2012. Democratizing Ubiquitous Computing – a Right for Locality. In Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Sebastian Weise, John Hardy, Pragya Agarwal, Paul Coulton, Adrian Friday, Mike Chiasson. 2012. Fostering off-line interactions through local ubicomp systems: The case of urban development. In Workshop on Computer Mediated Social Offline Interactions (Ubicomp '12).

~ 2011 ~

John Hardy, Enrico Rukzio, and Nigel Davies. 2011. Real world responses to interactive gesture based public displays. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 33-39.

John Hardy, Christopher Bull, Gerald Kotonya, and Jon Whittle. 2011. Digitally annexing desk space for software development (NIER track). In Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 812-815.


Lots of interesting things! I am enjoying a fast pace to life at the moment: managing projects, doing research, designing software, writing programs and giving talks.

If you would like to know where I am and what I am doing, please get in contact.

I am often travelling, which I absolutely love. In my personal time I have fun working on game engine design for STExcalibur, spending time with friends and riding my Raptor 700.


I have always loved building things. The more creative and out-of-the-box, the better!

ST Excalibur: I am the Technical Lead on the ST Excalibur Project. The talented people at ST Excalibur are working together to create the most immersive, most beautiful and most modifiable Star Trek game of all time. No pressure.

WiiTUIO: Ever wanted to convert your Windows 7 computer into a big multi-touch surface for under £20? Now you can!

Project Homepage:

Kinect Cars: Make your own terrain and interact with it in a virtual world! Augmented reality, but backwards! This used a Kinect to scan the surface of a table and convert what it found into digital terrain in a computer game. Check out some pictures!

This was comissioned for the Big Bang Science Fair which had 60,000 visitors in 3 days!

Ubi Displays Toolkit: The notion of projecting relevant, interactive digital content into the world around us is a fascinating idea with great potential. In the spirit of enabling people beyond the ubicomp community to engage with projector-based displays, I built a toolkit which lets you create multi-touch displays anywhere!

Interactive Tables and Surfaces Talk: This talk was commissioned by Lancaster University’s Knowledge Business Center (KBC) as the final piece in their Brunch Bytes business engagement series.

Foundations of Game Programming Talk: In this talk I speak as technical developer for ST Excalibur and discuss the basic principles and concepts you need to know to get started writing 3D computer games.

The video can be found here: Sorry for the terrible audio quality!

Bits and bobs: I see myself as quite a practical person; knowing enough about a lot of fields to be dangerous. During the time I have been able to program, I have made many things. Here are a few highlights. Don't read into it too much!

  • Firework Launching System, my reason for learning to program. It raised lines on a parallel port that triggered relays which lit lightbulbs to ignite fuses that set off rockets!
  • X-Flight - 3D OpenGL Asteroids.
  • Business game simulator - this would let users "play-out" different scenarios using provided data.
  • 3D Plank Puzzle - another game using OpenGL where players have to cross a river by placing planks between stumps.
  • Secure distributed system written using Java RMI and SSL.
  • e-Campus Beaver - an AJAX web-based monitoring system for a network of distributed displays.
  • PicASM serial VGA graphics card and driver.
  • High performing, concurrent and low memory usage file system designed for a "virtual" embedded device.
  • Framework for coarse gesture interaction with ambient public displays - a 3D public display gesture detection, transition and rendering platform which formed my 3rd year research project dissertation.

Skills and Experience

I pride myself in being a producer of efficient, clean and well-documented software. As a software developer I have come into contact with many different languages, frameworks and platforms.

I hold a First Class Honours Degree in Computer Science Innovation and a Distinguished Master of Research in Digital Innovation from Lancaster University. I graduated with the chancellor's medal and was the recipient of the Williams Pickles Prize.

For a comprehensive curriculum vitae please feel free to get in contact.

~ Comfort Zones ~

  • Organization and management of technical and non-technical people.
  • Producing well-written documents and reports.
  • Delivering invited talks, academic lectures and public speaking.
  • Working well under pressure and responsibility.
  • Designing software systems: native, web, mobile, embedded and their integration.
  • Manual work (getting my hands dirty to get something done).
  • Offering original solutions or improvements towards holistic problems.
  • Designing and building creative interactive systems.

~ Programming Languages ~

  • Python - is my language of choice!
  • C and C++ - with a preference for C99.
  • C# (the .NET Family) - are very powerful if applied properly.
  • Java - which version are they on now?
  • PicASM - everything else suddenly makes sense...
  • SQL and NoSQL - lots of data storage formats.
  • PHP - is great for making web services and sites.
  • The list goes on, but these are the ones I use with a significant degree of regularity.

~ Platforms and Libraries ~

  • Most of my software has been targeted at the Linux, Windows and WWW platforms.
  • I have used several major windowing toolkits including WPF, GTK, QT3, Winforms, AWT and Swing as well as writing several of my own.
  • I am well versed in OpenGL and DirectX graphical APIs and have experience using the OpenCV library.
  • I have contributed to the ASSIMP project in the form of a managed C# wrapper.

~ Technical Skills ~

  • (X)HTML(5), CSS(3), Javascript and the JQuery library.
  • SQL and Database Design.
  • Windows, Linux, OSX and Unix variants. As well as the usual terminals and tools that come packaged.
  • I know some programming languages like one knows a distant relative; Perl, Pascal, Delfi, VB and Objective C etc..
  • GIMP, Inkscape, Dia and Photoshop.
  • Notepad++, vim, Visual Studio and Eclipse.
  • Open and Microsoft Office in addition to SPSS and R.
  • Powerpoint Love - I consider it a skill!
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