hciLab

Human-Computer-Interaction

Monthly Archives: April 2008

Andreas Bulling from Zürich sent me a link to some amazingly creative Wii projects: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/ – it is really interesting how many people play with this device and get interesting ideas going!

At the TEI’08 conference in Bonn Susanne Boll an her team presented interesting work on gesture recognition using Wiimote’s acceleration sensor [1]. People from Georgia Tech presented another idea using this controller: WiiArt [2]. We currently think of using it in teaching to make some exercises (e.g. measuring Fits’ law 😉 more exciting…

[1] Schlömer, T., Poppinga, B., Henze, N., and Boll, S. 2008. Gesture recognition with a… Continue reading

Yesterday evening we organized a teacher training session on JAVA programming for mobile phone. We introduced them to the basics of Java ME and gave a tutorial on using Netbeans with mobility pack for creating applications. One idea for using the phone as an application platform is to increase motivation.

In some of the discussions we came across the issue of “how to teach programming” in school. I personally thing that explaining and learning the basic concepts of statement, variable, if-then, and loop is best done with not much around… I showed some of the activities on the OLPC for… Continue reading

Yesterday night I flew to Hamburg and traveled on to Lübeck – a quite nice town in the north of Germany – for the program committee meeting of Mensch und Computer 2008. This morning I got up a little earlier to walk around the city – as it was my first time visiting. The building I could see when walking into town however was oddly familiar, after some moments I recalled that it is the Holstentor which was pictured on the 50DM note (DM = German Mark – the money used in Germany till 2001 before we exchanged it… Continue reading

Arriving in Hamburg airport I was surprised by the advert for a rental car. You get a armored car for only 250€ a day. What does this tell you about Hamburg 😉 I took the bus and went to Lübeck…

Ina Wagner, Volker Wulf and Kjeld Schmidt organized a meeting to get together people from all over Europe that work on human centred computing. We had interesting discussions what is specific and distinct European human centred computing and how well it is represented in organizations such as the ACM.

Some years ago there has been significant support in this area of research on a European level – namely I3 and the disappearing computer initiative. Currently many of us feel that the value of user centred research is not supported enough and hence innovation happens somewhere else which can lead… Continue reading

Florian Alt studied media informatics at the LMU in Munich and has now joined our group. In Munich he worked during his project thesis with me on how to improve hospital work in pervasive computing technologies [1]. Last year he came to Fraunhofer IAIS and did his master thesis (a annotation system for the WWW based on the UsaProxy, http://fnuked.de/usaproxy/). Before joining us he worked for some months in New York setting up an IT department for a German company that opened a branch in the USA… we are happy for the brain gain 😉

[1] A. Schmidt, F.… Continue reading

Some weeks ago we had a Dr. Thomas Schönert, a journalist with Medienhaus Bauer visiting our group in Essen. We explained the idea that drives our research and showed some prototypes. Last week an article “We create our future” (“Wir bauen unsere Zukunft” in German) was published and it is interesting how well he summarized what we said and showed during 2 hours.

People take mobile devices into their cars and the amount of information people have on those devices is huge – just consider the number of songs on an MP3-Player, the address database in a navigation system and eventually the mobile web. In our work we looked at ways to design and implement search interfaces that are usable while driving [1]. For the paper we compared a categorized search and a free search. The was another paper in the session looking at practice of GPS use by Leshed et al. which was really interesting and can inform future navigation or context-aware… Continue reading

Dagmar presented two work in progress papers at the poster session at CHI. One paper is a master thesis of Hema [1] and assess how we can personalize environments with coding preference into the Bluetooth friendly name. Here we were particularly interested into the acceptance in Germany and India. The second paper [2] was joint work with Nigel’s group from Lancaster. Here we look at targeted poster advertising and how preference information should be stored.

[1] Mahato, H., Kern, D., Holleis, P., and Schmidt, A. 2008. Implicit personalization of public environments using bluetooth. In CHI ’08 Extended Abstracts on Human… Continue reading

Tampere University presented a study where a rotation element is used to create tactile output and the assessed emotional perception of the stimuli (http://mobilehaptics.cs.uta.fi [1]). One application scenario is to use haptics feedback to create applications that allow us to “be in touch”. From Steven Brewsters group a project was presented that looks into how the performance of a touchscreen keyboard can be enhanced by tactile feedback [2]. In one condition they use two actuators. Both papers are interesting and provide insight for two of our current projects on multi-tactile output.

[1] Salminen, K., Surakka, V., Lylykangas, J., Raisamo,… Continue reading

Raimund Dachselt presented FaceZoom, a widget for quick navigation, e.g. for a tree structure [1]. I liked his characterizing “a stacked treemap” – which explains nicely what the widget does and where the efficency can be found. At TEI’08 he gave already a nice private demo on how this can be linked to mobile devices and how to use a off-the-shelf phone with an accelerometer as controller.

[1] Dachselt, R., Frisch, M., and Weiland, M. 2008. FacetZoom: a continuous multi-scale widget for navigating hierarchical metadata. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence,… Continue reading

This morning was a meeting of people interested in automotive user interfaces. It was an informal session where everyone could contribute. We had an interesting discussion anchored in the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study. My main arguments in the discussion were (1) that we have to take more care of context (awareness and prediction) to make smart controls and (2) that multimodality is a key concept to improve UIs.

We continued the meeting over lunch with people from BMW, Bosch and General Motors. I think everyone agrees that interactive in-car applications and hence user interfaces are a central topic that… Continue reading

The number of woman starting a computer science degree in German is very low and this has been recognized on many levels as we (as an economy) loose at lot of potential. This problem can be found in many other countries. Leah Buechley suggested in her paper the LilyPad Ardunio [1] this issues by getting girls in building interactive electronics – as part of self-created fashion items. The idea of targeting technologies, so that they become attractive to girls – especially already in school – seems a promising approach to change the perception of what computer science means.

They use… Continue reading

Advertisement and markings using pervasive computing technologies is a topic a lot of people are talking about. Little publications are out currently but it seems everybody has something in the lab. I have talked to Bo Begole from PARC and we think of looking more into the topic bringing people (from research and industry) together to push this topic forward.

On Sunday afternoon I flew to Florence and we met up in the evening with former colleagues – CHI always feels like a school reunion 😉 and it is great to get first hand reports on what everyone is working currently. On the plane I met Peter Thomas (editor of Ubquitous Computing Journal) and we talked about the option of a special issue on automotive…

We have rented a house in the Tuscany Mountains together with Antonio’s group and collaborators from BMW research and T-Labs. Even though we have to commute into Florence everyday it is just great that we… Continue reading

This week work on our new lab space started With all the drilling and hammering leaving for CHI in Florence seemed like perfect timing. Our rooms are located in a listed historical building and hence planning is always a little bit more complicated but we are compensated by working in a really nice building.

As I was involved in the planning space for the lab we had the opportunity to integrate a space dedicated to large interactive surfaces where we can explore different options for interaction.

Seeing the process of planning and carrying out indoor building work ideas related to… Continue reading

In the afternoon I visited humangrid, a startup company in Dortmund. Their basic idea is to create a platform that offers opportunities for crowdsourcing – basically outsourcing small tasks that are easy to perform by humans to a large number of clickworkers. One example for such a scenario is tagging and classification of media. It is interesting that they aim to create a platform that offers real contracts and provides guaranties – which makes it in my eyes more ambitious than Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

One interesting argument is that programming humans (as intelligent processors) to do a certain… Continue reading

Today Tanja Döring started with our group in Essen. She did her MSc at the University of Hamburg with Steffi Beckhaus and Horst Oberquelle. I met her first last year at TEI’07 in Baton Rouge, where she presented work on a table for art historians [1]. This year Tanja was a student volunteer at TEI’08 in Bonn.

[1] Döring, T. and Beckhaus, S. 2007. The card box at hand: exploring the potentials of a paper-based tangible interface for education and research in art history. In Proceedings of the 1st international Conference on Tangible and Embedded interaction (Baton Rouge,… Continue reading

Running successful (large scale) projects in computer science is a great challenge – very often projects are delayed and run over budget. As we aim to provide our students with all it takes to be successful in the job we have a mandatory course on project management for IT project in the BSc Systems Engineering curriculum.

This afternoon we visited sd&m (part of Capgemini) in Düsseldorf to talk about the course structure and content. We are delighted that Gebhard Ritter and Oliver Stoll, both having long term experience in managing large projects, teach the course this term again. Having been… Continue reading

Running successful (large scale) projects in computer science is a great challenge – very often projects are delayed and run over budget. As we aim to provide our students with all it takes to be successful in the job we have a mandatory course on project management for IT project in the BSc Systems Engineering curriculum.

This afternoon we visited sd&m (part of Capgemini) in Düsseldorf to talk about the course structure and content. We are delighted that Gebhard Ritter and Oliver Stoll, both having long term experience in managing large projects, teach the course this term again. Having been… Continue reading

This morning we had the great opportunity to observe and discuss workflows and work practice in the operating area in the Elisabeth hospital in Essen. It was amazing how much time from (really busy) personnel we got and this provided us with many new insights.

The complexity of scheduling patients, operations, equipment and consumables in a very dynamic environment poses a great challenges and it was interesting to see how well it works with current technologies. However looking at the systems used and considering upcoming pervasive computing technologies a great potential for easing tasks and processes is apparent. Keeping tracking… Continue reading