Image by Esaias Tan

Interactive Organisms Lab (IOLab)

Undergraduate Student Researcher

UC Davis Design Department

To explore the intersection of design and technology, I pursued human-computer interaction and wearable technology research through the Interactive Organisms Lab (IOLab).

I worked with researchers from diverse disciplines and developed skills with programmable devices, tactile user interfaces in both academic and research-based settings. I also studied 3D printing and modeling techniques and interactivity through programmed interfaces (Arduino), electronic sensors and Bluetooth communication. Specifically, I developed an on-skin interface to communicate through human facial gestures.


HCI Researcher

Motion Designer


September 2020 - June 2021


Augmented Humans International Conference 2021

Best Demo Award and Publication

GemiN' I
Seamless Skin Interfaces Aiding Communication through Unconscious Behaviors
Shuyi Sun, Neha Deshmukh, Xin Chen, Hao-Chuan Wang, and Katia Vega.
Voice command is the primary way of interacting with smart home devices and virtual assistants. However, being vocal is not always feasible or appropriate. This project aims to explore the potential of on-skin interfaces in social settings by discreetly communicating to a smart home device when enacting nearly unconscious behaviors. GemiN'I is a Beauty Technology that aesthetically and inconspicuously embeds sensors in face jewels to detect facial muscle movements, which then signals smart home devices without vocal commands, allowing the user and observers to interact without vocal interrupts. Our design rationale consists on: a) the form factor of a commercially available product for face decoration such as facial gems, b) novel discrete interfaces by making the technology invisible(circuits hidden within the gems), and the interaction by triggering devices when enacting unconscious behaviors (frowning), and c) seamlessly triggering a device in presence of an observer.
Shuyi Sun, Neha Deshmukh, Xin Chen, Hao-Chuan Wang, and Katia Vega. 2021. GemiN’ I: Seamless Skin Interfaces Aiding Communication through Unconscious Behaviors. In Augmented Humans Conference 2021 (AHs’21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 277–279. DOI:
Demo Video and Scenarios
GemiN' I prototype. a) on-skin interface through 3 layers: aesthetic top layer with gemstones, circuit design by switches and connections, and adhesive for insulation in the bottom layer. b) System design c,d) Interaction through a frown to activate the device
Conferences and Awards
Augmented Humans (AHs) International Conference 2021
Presentation, Publication and Best Demo Award

Check out some more exciting projects!