Fraunhofer IAIS visiting Essen

Today former colleagues from Fraunhofer IAIS visited the faculty of economics and computer science here in Essen. It was amazing how many topical connections we found between the research at IAIS and the work that is going on here in business studies, information system, and computer science. We discussed different options for future cooperation – in research and teaching – and I am very hopeful that we create interesting opportunities.

Last year, while still in Bonn, I organized summer @ IAIS. For this year we may go more interdisciplinary and set ourselves high goals… lets see.

>Fraunhofer IAIS visiting Essen

>

Today former colleagues from Fraunhofer IAIS visited the faculty of economics and computer science here in Essen. It was amazing how many topical connections we found between the research at IAIS and the work that is going on here in business studies, information system, and computer science. We discussed different options for future cooperation – in research and teaching – and I am very hopeful that we create interesting opportunities.

Last year, while still in Bonn, I organized summer @ IAIS. For this year we may go more interdisciplinary and set ourselves high goals… lets see.

GIBU meeting in Dagstuhl

The week before Easter is the traditional time for the meeting of the GI group university professors (GIBU). GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) is similar to the ACM, but on a national level. Due to other time constrains I was only able to be there for two days. We see that political aspects play more and more a role in our daily work life – if we like it or not it becomes essential to express our views with regard to computer science in Germany from a university perspective.

Besides this Dagstuhl (and in particular the wine cellar) is a good place to meet and to network. We discussed the option of doing a GI-Dagstuhl Seminar on novel user interface – let’s see if we find the time. To my surprise I met one of my professors during my undergaded studies from the University of Ulm – Prof. Uwe Schöning. His book on theoretical computer science (Theoretische Informatik – kurz gefasst, in German) got me really excite for the subject. It is really a great book to read – even if you don’t do theory.

GIBU meeting in Dagstuhl

The week before Easter is the traditional time for the meeting of the GI group university professors (GIBU). GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) is similar to the ACM, but on a national level. Due to other time constrains I was only able to be there for two days. We see that political aspects play more and more a role in our daily work life – if we like it or not it becomes essential to express our views with regard to computer science in Germany from a university perspective.

Besides this Dagstuhl (and in particular the wine cellar) is a good place to meet and to network. We discussed the option of doing a GI-Dagstuhl Seminar on novel user interface – let’s see if we find the time. To my surprise I met one of my professors during my undergaded studies from the University of Ulm – Prof. Uwe Schöning. His book on theoretical computer science (Theoretische Informatik – kurz gefasst, in German) got me really excite for the subject. It is really a great book to read – even if you don’t do theory.

>GIBU meeting in Dagstuhl

>The week before Easter is the traditional time for the meeting of the GI group university professors (GIBU). GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) is similar to the ACM, but on a national level. Due to other time constrains I was only able to be there for two days. We see that political aspects play more and more a role in our daily work life – if we like it or not it becomes essential to express our views with regard to computer science in Germany from a university perspective.

Besides this Dagstuhl (and in particular the wine cellar) is a good place to meet and to network. We discussed the option of doing a GI-Dagstuhl Seminar on novel user interface – let’s see if we find the time. To my surprise I met one of my professors during my undergaded studies from the University of Ulm – Prof. Uwe Schöning. His book on theoretical computer science (Theoretische Informatik – kurz gefasst, in German) got me really excite for the subject. It is really a great book to read – even if you don’t do theory.

DIY automotive UI design – or how hard is it to design for older people

The picture does not show a research prototype – it shows the actual interior of a 5-series BMW (fairly recent model). The driver (an elderly lady) adapted the UI to suit her needs. This modification includes the labeling of controls which are important, writing some instructions for more complicate controls close to them (hereby implementing one of the key ideas of embedded information [1]), an covering some to the user “useless” controls.

At first I assumed this is a prank* – but it seems to be genuine and that makes it really interesting and carries important lessons with regard to designing for drivers of 80 years and older. Having different skins (and not just GUIs more in a physical approach) as well as UI components that can be composed (e.g. based on user needs) in the embedded and tangible domain seem challenging but may new opportunities for customized UIs. Perhaps investigating ideas for personalizing physical user interfaces – and in particular car UIs – may be an interesting project.

[1] Albrecht Schmidt, Matthias Kranz, Paul Holleis. Embedded Information. UbiComp 2004, Workshop ‘Ubiquitous Display Environments’, September 2004 http://www.hcilab.org/documents/EmbeddedInformationWorkshopUbiComp2004.pdf

* will try to get more evidence that it is real :-)

DIY automotive UI design – or how hard is it to design for older people

The picture does not show a research prototype – it shows the actual interior of a 5-series BMW (fairly recent model). The driver (an elderly lady) adapted the UI to suit her needs. This modification includes the labeling of controls which are important, writing some instructions for more complicate controls close to them (hereby implementing one of the key ideas of embedded information [1]), an covering some to the user “useless” controls.

At first I assumed this is a prank* – but it seems to be genuine and that makes it really interesting and carries important lessons with regard to designing for drivers of 80 years and older. Having different skins (and not just GUIs more in a physical approach) as well as UI components that can be composed (e.g. based on user needs) in the embedded and tangible domain seem challenging but may new opportunities for customized UIs. Perhaps investigating ideas for personalizing physical user interfaces – and in particular car UIs – may be an interesting project.

[1] Albrecht Schmidt, Matthias Kranz, Paul Holleis. Embedded Information. UbiComp 2004, Workshop ‘Ubiquitous Display Environments’, September 2004 http://www.hcilab.org/documents/EmbeddedInformationWorkshopUbiComp2004.pdf

* will try to get more evidence that it is real :-)

>DIY automotive UI design – or how hard is it to design for older people

>The picture does not show a research prototype – it shows the actual interior of a 5-series BMW (fairly recent model). The driver (an elderly lady) adapted the UI to suit her needs. This modification includes the labeling of controls which are important, writing some instructions for more complicate controls close to them (hereby implementing one of the key ideas of embedded information [1]), an covering some to the user “useless” controls.

At first I assumed this is a prank* – but it seems to be genuine and that makes it really interesting and carries important lessons with regard to designing for drivers of 80 years and older. Having different skins (and not just GUIs more in a physical approach) as well as UI components that can be composed (e.g. based on user needs) in the embedded and tangible domain seem challenging but may new opportunities for customized UIs. Perhaps investigating ideas for personalizing physical user interfaces – and in particular car UIs – may be an interesting project.

[1] Albrecht Schmidt, Matthias Kranz, Paul Holleis. Embedded Information. UbiComp 2004, Workshop ‘Ubiquitous Display Environments’, September 2004 http://www.hcilab.org/documents/EmbeddedInformationWorkshopUbiComp2004.pdf

* will try to get more evidence that it is real :-)

Application Workshop of KDUbiq in Porto

After having frost and snow yesterday morning in Germany being in Porto (Portugal) is quite a treat. The KDubiq application workshop is in parallel to the summer school and yesterday evening it was interesting to meet up with some people teaching there.

The more I learn about data mining and machine learning the more I see even greater potential in many ubicomp application domains. In my talk “Ubicomp Applications and Beyond – Research Challenges and Visions” I looked back at selected applications and systems that we have developed over the last 10 year (have a look at the slides – I, too was surprised what variety of projects we did in the last years ;-). So far we have often used basic machine learning methods to implement – in many cases creating a version 2 of these systems where machine learning research is brought together with ubicomp research and new technology platforms could make a real difference.

Alessandro Donati from ESA gave a talk “Technology for challenging future space missions” which introduced several challenges. He explained their approach to technology introduction into mission control. The basic idea is that the technology providers create together with the users a new application or tool. He strongly argued for a user centred design and development process. It is interesting to see that the concept of user centred development processes are becoming more widespread and go beyond classical user interfaces into complex system development.

Application Workshop of KDUbiq in Porto

After having frost and snow yesterday morning in Germany being in Porto (Portugal) is quite a treat. The KDubiq application workshop is in parallel to the summer school and yesterday evening it was interesting to meet up with some people teaching there.

The more I learn about data mining and machine learning the more I see even greater potential in many ubicomp application domains. In my talk “Ubicomp Applications and Beyond – Research Challenges and Visions” I looked back at selected applications and systems that we have developed over the last 10 year (have a look at the slides – I, too was surprised what variety of projects we did in the last years ;-). So far we have often used basic machine learning methods to implement – in many cases creating a version 2 of these systems where machine learning research is brought together with ubicomp research and new technology platforms could make a real difference.

Alessandro Donati from ESA gave a talk “Technology for challenging future space missions” which introduced several challenges. He explained their approach to technology introduction into mission control. The basic idea is that the technology providers create together with the users a new application or tool. He strongly argued for a user centred design and development process. It is interesting to see that the concept of user centred development processes are becoming more widespread and go beyond classical user interfaces into complex system development.