hciLab

Human-Computer-Interaction

Monthly Archives: May 2008

Today and yesterday I am visiting a conference that is concerned with ageing – looking at the topic from different perspective (computer science, psychology, medicine, economics) run at the MPI in Berlin. The working group is associate with the the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and I was invited by Prof. Ulman Lindenberger who is director at the Max Planck Insititut and works in Lifespan Psychology. The working group is called ageing in Germany (in German).

Antonio Krüger and I represented the technology perspective with example from the domain of ubiquitous computing. My talk “ubiquitous computing in adulthood and… Continue reading

Using electrodes to detect eye movement and to detect reading [1] – relates to Heiko’s work but uses different sensing techniques. If the system can really be implemented in goggles this would be a great technologies for eye gestures as suggested in [2].

Utilizing infrastructures that are in place for activity sensing – the example is a heating/air condition/ventilation system [3]. I wondered and put forward the question how well this would work in active mode – where you actively create an airflow (using the already installed system) to detect the state of an environment.

Further interesting ideas:

Pervasive 2007 introduced a new form of tutorials – having a number of experts talking one hour about their special topic – I was last year as participant and liked it a lot. This year Pervasive 2008 repeated this approach and I contributed a tutorial on how to get context and activity from sensors (tutorial slides in PDF).

Abstract. Intelligent environments, sensor network and smart objects are inherently connected to building systems that sense phenomena in the real world and make the perceived information available to applications. In the first part of the tutorial an overview of sensors… Continue reading

Gregor, a colleague from LMU Munich, presented work that was done in the context of the PERCI project, which started while I was in Munich. The demo showed several applications (e.g. buying tickets) that exploit the potential of interaction with multiple NFC-Tags. The basic idea is to have several NFC-Tags included in a printed poster with which the user can interact using a phone. By touching the tags in a certain order the selection can be made. For more details see the paper accompanying the demo [1].

[1] Gregor Broll, Markus Haarländer, Massimo Paolucci, Matthias Wagner, Enrico Rukzio, Albrecht… Continue reading

Paul presented after lunch our full paper on a development approach and environment for mobile applications that supports underlying user models [1]. In the paper he shows how you can create applications while programming by example where the development environment automatically adds a KLM model. In this way the developer becomes automatically aware of estimated usage times for the application. The paper is work that builds on our paper on KLM for physical mobile interaction which was presented last year at CHI [2]. The underlying technology is the embedded interaction toolkit [3] – have a look – perhaps it makes… Continue reading

Mark Billinghurst presented an interesting history of augmented reality and he showed clearly that camera phones are the platform to look out for. He reminded us that currently the 3D performance of mobile phones is similar to the most powerful 3D graphics cards show 15 years ago at SIGGRAPH. Looking back at Steven Feiner’s backpack [1] – the first augmented reality system I saw – can tell us that we should not be afraid to create prototypes that may be a bit clumsy if they allow us to create a certain user experience and for exploring technology challenges.

In an… Continue reading

This morning the pervasive 2008 conference started in Sydney. The conference hotel is in the heart of the city at Darling Habour. As in recent years the conference is very competitive (acceptance rate of about 16%) and features interesting technologies and high quality research. The program with links to Springer-Link is available at http://www.pervasive2008.org/Program/ One presentation included a slide with a quote about the technology he created in the project – will not tell which paper/author it is. Look in the proceedings and pick your favorite. This quote seems questionable at first – but it describes the essence in the… Continue reading
Today we had our Pervasive at home workshop – as part of Pervasive 2008 in Sydney. We had 7 talks and a number of discussions on various topics related to smart homes. Issues ranged from long term experience with smart home deployments (Lasse Kaila et al.), development cycle (Aaron Quigley et al.), to end-user development (Joëlle Coutaz). For the full workshop proceedings see [1].

One trend that can be observed is that researchers move beyond the living lab. In the discussion it became apparent that living labs can start research efforts in this area and function as focus point for… Continue reading

In Sydney I saw a legacy-free setup for washing hands in a public bathroom. I was surprised at the simple and solution with high utility! It is only a board mounted in an angle with water taps above. For typical use (washing hands under a flow of water) this is as good as a traditional setup. From looking at it, the legacy-free setup seems much easier to clean. I have never used a washbasin in a public bathroom by filling it – and I have never seen this functionality used (typically you can not use it in the lagacy way… Continue reading

Over the last day I have experienced that very basic location information in the display can already provide a benefit to the user. Being the first time in Sydney I realized that network information of my GSM-phone is very reliable to tell me when to get off the bus – obviously it is not fine grain location information but so far always walking distance. At some locations (such as Bondi beach) visual pattern matching works very well, too 😉 And when to get off the bus seems a concern to many people (just extrapolating from the small sample I had… Continue reading

After the exam board meeting at Trinity College in Dublin (I am external examiner for the Ubicomp program) I went back with Mads Haahr (the course director) to his office. Besides the screen on which he works he has one extra where constantly the log entries of his web server is displayed. It is an interesting awareness devices 😉 some years ago we did a project where we used the IP-address of incoming HTTP-requests to guess who the visitors are and to show their web pages on an awareness display [1], [2]. Looking back at web visitors works very… Continue reading

The parking meter is some streets of Dublin are an interesting example of an interface following the basic idea of physical mobile interaction. As you see from the manual sticker – the first part is on the mobile phone: you call a number and then provide the place in which you are (by typing in a number). The second part is then on the ticket machine – till you get the print out. The amazing thing was I really saw people using it!

The user interface design is interesting as they use on the phone typical phone interaction (basically dialing… Continue reading

Wherever I meet with companies at the moment one of the first questions is “do you have good students – we need people…”. It seems good computer science skills are useful 😉 However to me it is not clear why so few people go into this field. Here is my favorite short list what you should have to study CS: (1) you are creative; (2) you are communicative; (3) you solve problems systematically; (4) you have an ability to generalize.

In Gelsenkirchen (just 15 minutes on the train) was today a conference on accessibility “Einfach für Alle” (easy for all). http://www.einfach-fuer-alle.de/tagung/

I was invited as an expert in the workshop on business opportunities for the internet of the future and of assistive technologies. The workshop was moderated by Thomas Hänsgen and the other experts were Arthur Ortega (Yahoo!) and Günther Weber (Vodafone). The discussion was very lively and I learned a lot! Some results of the discussion are online at the workshop website.

To start with everyone had the opportunity to give some statements – I had the following: (1)… Continue reading

We made our plans for setting up a company for creating a unique learning experience more specific. Uwe Bayer from Fraunhofer IAIS used in our discussion the phrase “don’t play to run company – really run a company” – which I think describes the essences of we would like to achieve. We plan to have some detailed information (and the recruitment process) out by the end of the month. If you are a student close to finishing your studies AND you have academic skills in your subject AND you have the drive to create a start-up THEN you should contact… Continue reading