Monthly Archives: November 2008

Mandy Marder, a doctoral student at university hospital in Essen has done an interesting study, looking at the activity of the brain at different driving situations. It seems that if you are driving a well know route you are less alert than when you drive an unknown route (see press release, we have yet to find the appropriate reference). This is an interesting finding that may help to inform some of our work on automotive user interfaces. Together with trends that move more responsibility from the driver to assitive functions this nay be an indication that driving could… Continue reading
In our user interface engineering class one of the tasks in the exercise is to create a concept design for providing information from the car on the mobile phone (e.g. millage, amount a fuel in the car, next service date, alram status, etc). The first part is to assess what information could be made accessible and what value it would create for the user.  Today I came across a device (Tyredog TD-1000A) that is concerned with a one sub-part of this scenario: checking your pressure in the tires of the car. It is a simple sensor… Continue reading

The PC meeting for Percom 2009 took place at IBM in Hawthorne, NY. Percom had about 200 submissions and many good ones – so we could compile an exciting program across the whole field of pervasive computing and communication. As one of three program vice chairs I have looked in detail in about 1/3 of the submissions that were application related. It is interesting to observe that research as a whole in the field becomes more major and at the same time more incremental. 

To me this puts up the big question in which domains will the new big… Continue reading

Looking into Paul Rayson’s blog and discovered an interesting link: http://www.genderanalyzer.com. It is a web form where you can put in an URL and you get an estimate whether the author of this text is male or female. For me it worked great 😉 It says that the text I wrote in my blog is with 88% written by a male. I tried it with a few more of my pages and it worked. Then I looked at some pages of some of my female colleagues and to my surprise it seems they do not write their web… Continue reading

Exoskeletons have received some attention over the last years (some with a clear application area in the army), e.g. Robot suit HAL and the BLEEX Project.   Honda showed now an interesting exoskeletons as walking aid. It is called  “computerized leg device” or “walking assist device” and there is an short movie on youtube and it is designed to help people walk. The application areas are probably broad – I expected mainly in care and rehabilitation, but looking around there seem to be more application domains…
In Cologne in the Museum Ludwig I gave in the afternoon a talk on “Illusions 2.0 – embedded interactive media” at the Forum Mediendesign. The talk focused on the new qualities of magical experiences we will be able to create with pervasive computing technologies in the future and linked this to Alan Kay’s notion of user illusion and metaphors. I looked at trends that are ingredience for creating Illusions 2.0 – in particular ubiquitous communication and display, constant tracking and logging, and the decrease of value of traditional content (text, audio, video, software, tv, statistical data). I highlighted one… Continue reading

We arrived in the evening in Köln and went to our hotel and around 10:30 pm the fire alarm sounded (really loud – you want to leave) and a voice over the speaker system asked us to leave the hotel immediately. When we checked in an hour earlier we overheard that they called for the elevator repair man…

Better safe than sorry I packed up my laptop and rucksack and we went downstairs. At the reception they were pretty busy – but it seemed everyone clear that this a false alarm but it seemed they had no way of really… Continue reading

There many good reason to have an international team – especilly when doing research in pervasive computing and user interface engineering. This morning I learned another one: you can have election parties (=drinks and food in the lab ;-).  Predicting elections results goes new ways and it is interesting that the Xbox Live Polls (http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/09/xbox-live-poll.html) were quite close to the result – already quite some time ago. Perhaps this large poll produced just by accident good results – but it may be a first step towards internet elections. Having internet voting on a game console brings new… Continue reading

On Saturday we went for a walk and to make it more exciting we decided to look for a geocache (GCXP87, N 49° 08.775 E 010° 06.672). To our surprise it took us quite some time (10 minutes) to find it as the GPS reception was not perfect. Vivien, my daughter was excited by the idea of geo caching (I think I can anticipate some of our activities on the next weekends ;-), especially as we even found a travel bug. The travel bug is alreay on its second continent and we still discuss where we place it 😉