Invited Lecture at CDTM, how fast do you walk?

Today I was at CDTM in Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/) to give a lecture to introduce Pervasive Computing. It was a great pleasure that I was invited again after last year’s visit. We discussed no less than how new computing technologies are going to change our lives and how we as developers are going to shape parts of the future. As everyone is aware there are significant challenges ahead – one is personal travel and I invited students to join our summer factory (basically setting up a company / team to create a news mobility platform). If you are interested, too drop me a mail.

Over lunch I met with Heiko to discuss the progress of his thesis and fishing for new topics as they often come up when writing ;-) To motivate some parts of his work he looked at behavioral research that describes how people use their eyes in communication. In [1] interesting aspects of human behavior are described and explained. I liked the page (251) with the graphs on walking speed as a function of the size of city (the bigger the city the faster people walk – it includes an interesting discussion what this effect is based on) and the eye contacts made dependent on gender and size of town. This can provide insight for some projects we are working on. Many of the results are not surprising – but it is often difficult to pinpoint the reference (at least for a computer science person), so this book may be helpful.

[1] Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens: Grundriss der Humanethologie. Blank; Auflage: 5. A. Dezember 2004.

Invited Lecture at CDTM, how fast do you walk?

Today I was at CDTM in Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/) to give a lecture to introduce Pervasive Computing. It was a great pleasure that I was invited again after last year’s visit. We discussed no less than how new computing technologies are going to change our lives and how we as developers are going to shape parts of the future. As everyone is aware there are significant challenges ahead – one is personal travel and I invited students to join our summer factory (basically setting up a company / team to create a news mobility platform). If you are interested, too drop me a mail.

Over lunch I met with Heiko to discuss the progress of his thesis and fishing for new topics as they often come up when writing ;-) To motivate some parts of his work he looked at behavioral research that describes how people use their eyes in communication. In [1] interesting aspects of human behavior are described and explained. I liked the page (251) with the graphs on walking speed as a function of the size of city (the bigger the city the faster people walk – it includes an interesting discussion what this effect is based on) and the eye contacts made dependent on gender and size of town. This can provide insight for some projects we are working on. Many of the results are not surprising – but it is often difficult to pinpoint the reference (at least for a computer science person), so this book may be helpful.

[1] Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens: Grundriss der Humanethologie. Blank; Auflage: 5. A. Dezember 2004.

>Invited Lecture at CDTM, how fast do you walk?

>Today I was at CDTM in Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/) to give a lecture to introduce Pervasive Computing. It was a great pleasure that I was invited again after last year’s visit. We discussed no less than how new computing technologies are going to change our lives and how we as developers are going to shape parts of the future. As everyone is aware there are significant challenges ahead – one is personal travel and I invited students to join our summer factory (basically setting up a company / team to create a news mobility platform). If you are interested, too drop me a mail.

Over lunch I met with Heiko to discuss the progress of his thesis and fishing for new topics as they often come up when writing ;-) To motivate some parts of his work he looked at behavioral research that describes how people use their eyes in communication. In [1] interesting aspects of human behavior are described and explained. I liked the page (251) with the graphs on walking speed as a function of the size of city (the bigger the city the faster people walk – it includes an interesting discussion what this effect is based on) and the eye contacts made dependent on gender and size of town. This can provide insight for some projects we are working on. Many of the results are not surprising – but it is often difficult to pinpoint the reference (at least for a computer science person), so this book may be helpful.

[1] Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens: Grundriss der Humanethologie. Blank; Auflage: 5. A. Dezember 2004.

Hans Visited our Group, Issues on sustainable energy / travel

Hans Gellersen, who was my supervisor while I was in Lancaster, visited our lab in Essen. We discussed options for future collaborations, ranging from student exchange to joined proposals. Besides other topics we discussed sustainable energy as this is more and more becoming a theme of great importance and Pervasive Computing offers many building blocks towards potential solutions. Hans pointed me to an interesting project going on at IBM Hursley “The House That Twitters Its Energy Use“.

At the Ubicomp PC meeting we recently discussed the value of face-2-face meetings in the context of scientific work and it seems there are two future directions to reduce resource consumption: (1) moving from physical travel to purely virtual meetings or (2) making travel feasible based on renewable energies. Personally I think we will see a mix – but I am sure real physical meetings are essential for certain tasks in medium term. I am convinced that in the future we will still travel and this will become viable as travel based on renewable energies will become feasible. Inspiring example project are SolarImpulse (its goal is to create a solar powered airplane) and Helios (solar-powered atmospheric satellites). There are alternative future scenarios and an interesting discussion by John Urry (e.g. a recent article [1], a book – now on my personal reading list [2]). These analyses (from a sociology perspective) are informative to read and can help to create interesting technology interventions. However I reject the dark scenarios, as I am too much of an optimist trusting in peoples good will, common sense, technology research and engineering – especially if the funding is available ;-).

[1] John Urry. Climate change, travel and complex futures. The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 59, Issue 2, Page 261-279, Jun 2008

[2] John Urry. Mobilities. October 2007.

Hans Visited our Group, Issues on sustainable energy / travel

Hans Gellersen, who was my supervisor while I was in Lancaster, visited our lab in Essen. We discussed options for future collaborations, ranging from student exchange to joined proposals. Besides other topics we discussed sustainable energy as this is more and more becoming a theme of great importance and Pervasive Computing offers many building blocks towards potential solutions. Hans pointed me to an interesting project going on at IBM Hursley “The House That Twitters Its Energy Use“.

At the Ubicomp PC meeting we recently discussed the value of face-2-face meetings in the context of scientific work and it seems there are two future directions to reduce resource consumption: (1) moving from physical travel to purely virtual meetings or (2) making travel feasible based on renewable energies. Personally I think we will see a mix – but I am sure real physical meetings are essential for certain tasks in medium term. I am convinced that in the future we will still travel and this will become viable as travel based on renewable energies will become feasible. Inspiring example project are SolarImpulse (its goal is to create a solar powered airplane) and Helios (solar-powered atmospheric satellites). There are alternative future scenarios and an interesting discussion by John Urry (e.g. a recent article [1], a book – now on my personal reading list [2]). These analyses (from a sociology perspective) are informative to read and can help to create interesting technology interventions. However I reject the dark scenarios, as I am too much of an optimist trusting in peoples good will, common sense, technology research and engineering – especially if the funding is available ;-).

[1] John Urry. Climate change, travel and complex futures. The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 59, Issue 2, Page 261-279, Jun 2008

[2] John Urry. Mobilities. October 2007.

>Hans Visited our Group, Issues on sustainable energy / travel

>Hans Gellersen, who was my supervisor while I was in Lancaster, visited our lab in Essen. We discussed options for future collaborations, ranging from student exchange to joined proposals. Besides other topics we discussed sustainable energy as this is more and more becoming a theme of great importance and Pervasive Computing offers many building blocks towards potential solutions. Hans pointed me to an interesting project going on at IBM Hursley “The House That Twitters Its Energy Use“.

At the Ubicomp PC meeting we recently discussed the value of face-2-face meetings in the context of scientific work and it seems there are two future directions to reduce resource consumption: (1) moving from physical travel to purely virtual meetings or (2) making travel feasible based on renewable energies. Personally I think we will see a mix – but I am sure real physical meetings are essential for certain tasks in medium term. I am convinced that in the future we will still travel and this will become viable as travel based on renewable energies will become feasible. Inspiring example project are SolarImpulse (its goal is to create a solar powered airplane) and Helios (solar-powered atmospheric satellites). There are alternative future scenarios and an interesting discussion by John Urry (e.g. a recent article [1], a book – now on my personal reading list [2]). These analyses (from a sociology perspective) are informative to read and can help to create interesting technology interventions. However I reject the dark scenarios, as I am too much of an optimist trusting in peoples good will, common sense, technology research and engineering – especially if the funding is available ;-).

[1] John Urry. Climate change, travel and complex futures. The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 59, Issue 2, Page 261-279, Jun 2008

[2] John Urry. Mobilities. October 2007.

New ways for reducing CO2 in Europe? Impact of pedestrian navigation systems

Arriving this morning in Brussels I was surprised by the length of the queue for taxis. Before seeing the number of people I considered taking a taxi to the meeting place as I had some luggage – but doing a quick count on the taxi frequency and the number of people in the line I decided to walk to make it in time. Then I remembered that some months ago I had a similar experience in Florence, when arriving at the airport for CHI. There I calculated the expected waiting time and choose the bus. Reflecting briefly on this it seems that this may be a new scheme to promote eco-friendly travel in cities… or why otherwise would there be not enough taxis in a free market?

Reflecting a little longer I would expect that with upcoming pedestrian navigation systems we may see a switch to more people walking in the city. My hypothesis (based on minimal observation) is that people often take a taxi or public transport as they have no idea where to walk to and how long it would take when walking. If now a pedestrian navigation system can offer reliably a time of arrival estimation (which is probably more precise for walking than for driving as there is less traffic jam) and the direction the motivation to walk may be increased. We should probably put pedestrian navigation systems on our project topic list as there is still open research on this topic…

New ways for reducing CO2 in Europe? Impact of pedestrian navigation systems

Arriving this morning in Brussels I was surprised by the length of the queue for taxis. Before seeing the number of people I considered taking a taxi to the meeting place as I had some luggage – but doing a quick count on the taxi frequency and the number of people in the line I decided to walk to make it in time. Then I remembered that some months ago I had a similar experience in Florence, when arriving at the airport for CHI. There I calculated the expected waiting time and choose the bus. Reflecting briefly on this it seems that this may be a new scheme to promote eco-friendly travel in cities… or why otherwise would there be not enough taxis in a free market?

Reflecting a little longer I would expect that with upcoming pedestrian navigation systems we may see a switch to more people walking in the city. My hypothesis (based on minimal observation) is that people often take a taxi or public transport as they have no idea where to walk to and how long it would take when walking. If now a pedestrian navigation system can offer reliably a time of arrival estimation (which is probably more precise for walking than for driving as there is less traffic jam) and the direction the motivation to walk may be increased. We should probably put pedestrian navigation systems on our project topic list as there is still open research on this topic…

>New ways for reducing CO2 in Europe? Impact of pedestrian navigation systems

>Arriving this morning in Brussels I was surprised by the length of the queue for taxis. Before seeing the number of people I considered taking a taxi to the meeting place as I had some luggage – but doing a quick count on the taxi frequency and the number of people in the line I decided to walk to make it in time. Then I remembered that some months ago I had a similar experience in Florence, when arriving at the airport for CHI. There I calculated the expected waiting time and choose the bus. Reflecting briefly on this it seems that this may be a new scheme to promote eco-friendly travel in cities… or why otherwise would there be not enough taxis in a free market?

Reflecting a little longer I would expect that with upcoming pedestrian navigation systems we may see a switch to more people walking in the city. My hypothesis (based on minimal observation) is that people often take a taxi or public transport as they have no idea where to walk to and how long it would take when walking. If now a pedestrian navigation system can offer reliably a time of arrival estimation (which is probably more precise for walking than for driving as there is less traffic jam) and the direction the motivation to walk may be increased. We should probably put pedestrian navigation systems on our project topic list as there is still open research on this topic…

Birthday candles going electronic

What is a birthday cake without a candle? Sometimes it is hard to find a candle but having a creative team there is always a solution – less than 3 minutes away ;-) As always with new technologies – after deployments ideas for Version 2 (which will include much more functionality) emerge… An there was another business idea – interactive wedding cakes – perhaps we explore this later this year ;-)