Antonio Krüger at the University of Münster is running an infrastructure of public displays that show various kinds of information. Using a web editor a select set of people (mainly staff at the department) can input and manage the information chunks that are presented.
In our discussion it became obvious that running such public displays comes with a lot of responsibilities and that people are very quick at complaining about content (may it be censorship or offending content). This leads then to more or less closed and controlled system – but I wonder if we are not overcautious or the… Continue reading
Yesterday we had the opportunity to see a set of research demos at the lab of Antonio Krüger at the University of Münster. We had some time to discuss research projects and in the afternoon Nigel and I gave a talk at the Geoinformatics seminar.
We saw exciting work in progress – a nearly ready large scale multi-touch display based on frustrated total internal reflection – according to Antonio the world-largest at the moment. The principle of operation of such a display is very appealing and the demo was convincing. For a comprehensive introduction on the topic see Jef Han’s… Continue reading
It seems that recently I come across many people that speak on the phone while they do their work. In Toronto on the bus to the airport the driver spoke on the phone (telling someone how to find and edit a file in Windows) while driving. Here in Bonn I saw it in shops and on the ferry – it felt really awkward to interrupt people in their phone conversation just to pay my ticket or bread.
At the moment most people speak while holding a handset – but given they use BT-headsets one could image new working practice 😉… Continue reading
On my way home from Toronto it was surprising how many public displays I saw that provided me with ”information about the future”, e.g. telling me when I will be out of time to cross the road, when the next train is due or when my luggage will arrive. These kinds of predictions or contexts are simple to gather and easy to present and best of all: the human is in control and can act on the information. Overall it is reassuring even if the context information is wrong (this is another story about my luggage ;-).
The internatonal conference on pervasive computing in Toronto had an exiting program.
The keynote was by Adam Greenfield on “Everyware: Some Social and Ethical Implications of Ubiquitous Computing” – matching a number of issues we discussed the day before at the doctoral colloquium. The talk was enjoyable even though I think some of the statements made, in particular with regard to opting out and informing the users (e.g. logos) are over-simplified. Furthermore the fact that our society and its values are changing was very little reflected, e.g. privacy is not a constant.
The best paper (by Rene Mayerhofer and Hans… Continue reading
Together with Boriana Koleva I organized the doctoral colloquium at Pervasive 2007 in Toronto. We had 9 students presenting and discussing their PhD work with us.
One central observation was that we come to a point where we have to make more and more ethical decisions. Many things that are technical feasible and harmless within the lab may have sincere implications in the real world. If technologies for tracking, tracing and mining (e.g. social network analysis, location based services, context-aware systems) are deployed beyond the lab the question of choice becomes a real issue – are users aware of it… Continue reading
After the Ubicomp PC meeting we went to a nice restaurant in Toronto for dinner. In the bathroom they had mounted TFT-screens above the urinals showing a TV program or adverts (was hard to tell in the short time I was there). It found it was quite distracting. The displays reminded me of a poster I saw at CHI 2003: You’re In Control: A Urinary User Interface by Maynes-Aminzade and Raffle (http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/765891.766108). Given the distraction experienced, I wonder if a design where visualization and control is spatially separated and hence control is indirect make sense for such applications.… Continue reading
The number of power plugs available to the public seems to be very close to zero at Frankfurt airport. If a persons sits somewhere on the floor in an odd corner it is likely that there is energy for the laptop or phone.
The number of Bluetooth IDs visible when scanning is amazing. It seems that many people have it switched on continuously now (quite different from 2 years ago). The friendly name used by people seems fairly boring, mainly the preset model name of the phone, combination of first name an phone model, initials, full name and the occasional… Continue reading
During our strategy meeting there was time for a canoe adventure and some late night reflections. To get the full experience we chose the rainy afternoon for our trip on the river Lahn. Even though we were pretty wet after the trip (some more some less 😉 it was a great experience.
When comparing real experience vs. virtual experience (e.g. second life) it becomes clear that the central issue is, that the virtual is risk-free with regard to our immediate physical well-being. This sounds great in the first place. But what does it lead to when we live in a… Continue reading
News papers in the UK have reported that sales for audio tapes at Currys were down from 83 million in 1989 to 0.1 million in 2006 and hence Currys is going to stop stocking them. We recently discussed how expensive talking toys (in particular dolls) were just twenty years ago. The were based on mini records or endless tapes. By now storage chips are so cheap that a good birthday card can sing you happy birthday.
How long will it take before electronic paper will replace printed paper in the large? At least it is close enough to seriously think… Continue reading
After having a really interesting discussion on privacy with a student at CDTM with regard to implicit interaction I saw the depicted privacy solution on the train back to Bonn. The woman had her notebook camera disabled – not in software – but physically with a scotch tape and a piece of paper. Such solutions are not uncommon and remind one impressively that people want tangible control over their privacy. It seems that people trust in the physical much more than the virtual – and for a good reason.
I reduced the size of the picture as she was preparing… Continue reading
The CDTM is a joint elite study program from LMU Munich and TU Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/). It offers a set of complementary course for students from different backgrounds including math, business studies, engineering, computer science and media informatics. In their course on multimodal HCI I gave today an introductory lecture on the motivation for and the basics of user interface engineering.
One question about the sustainability of a competitive advantage based on user… Continue reading
At this years CHI – the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – we presented 3 contributions: a full paper, a CHI-note, and a work in progress paper. Have a look at them!
Holleis, P., Otto, F., Hussmann, H., and Schmidt, A. 2007. Keystroke-level model for advanced mobile phone interaction. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, California, USA, April 28 – May 03, 2007). CHI ’07. ACM Press, New York, NY, 1505-1514. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1240624.1240851
Atterer, R. and Schmidt, A. 2007. Tracking the interaction of users with AJAX applications for usability testing.… Continue reading
Today I was invited at the Citizen Media seminar to discuss mobile and ubiquitous computing topics with people working in the project. Fraunhofer IAIS and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne are both partners in the European Citizen Media project (http://www.ist-citizenmedia.org/). It is a difficult question how to create and support a mobile community. The provision of software and infrastructure is obviously required – e.g. Alexander De Luca and Michael Müller (students I supervised in Munich) designed and implemented an open source software as a basis for mobile blogging (mobile reporter) – but the process that… Continue reading