Monthly Archives: February 2009

Together Eva Eva Hornecker and Brygg Ullmer I was guest editor for a special issue of the International Journal of Arts and Technology (IJART) on the topic of Tangible and Embedded Interaction. The issue contains 6 papers that look at very different aspects of this topic.

Have a look at the editorial (it is openly accessible) for an overview of the papers in the issue.

We put together a poster discussing some of our recent work on mobile displays for HotMobile. While presenting the poster I got a number of interesting ideas and concerns. One idea is to widening the idea of advertsing and fuse it with traditional classify ads by private people (e.g. advertising a flat or telling the world that you lost your cat). The big question is really how to measure audince exposure and eventually conversion. There are several ideas how to do this – but looks more like another master project on the topic than a overnight hack 😉

The… Continue reading

Comparing prices and finding the cheapest item has been a favorite application example over the last 10 years. I have seen the idea of scanning product codes and compare them to prices in other shops (online or in the neighborhood) first demonstrated in 1999 at the HUC conference. The Pocket BargainFinder [1] was a mobile device with a barcode reader attached that you could scan books and get a online price comparison. Since then I have seen a number of examples that take this idea forward, e.g. a paper here at HotMobile [2] or the Amazon Mobile App.

The… Continue reading

Bob Iannucci from Nokia presented his keynote “ubiquitous structured data: the cloud as a semantic platform” at HotMobile 2009 in Santa Cruz. He started out with the statement that “Mobility is at the beginning” and he argued that why mobile systems will get more and more important.

He presented several principles for mobile devices/systems

  • Simplicity and fitness for purpose are more important than feature
  • use concepts must remain constant – as few concepts as possible
  • presentations (what we see) and input modalities will evolve
  • standards will push the markets

Hearing this, especially the first point, from someone from Nokia… Continue reading

After a stop-over in Stansted/Cambridge at the TEI conference I was today in Linz, Austria, as external for the PhD defense of Andreas Riener. He did his PhD with Alois Ferscha and worked on implicit interaction in the car. The set and size of experiments he did is impressive and he has two central results. (1) using tactile output in the car can really improve the car to driver communication and reduce reaction time. And (2) by sensing the force pattern a body creates on the seat driving relates activities can be detected and to some extend driver identification… Continue reading

What is a simple and cheap way to get from Saarbrücken to Linz? It’s not really obvious, but going via Stansted/Cambridge makes sense – especially when there is the conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (www.tei-conf.org) and Raynair offers 10€ flight (not sure about sustainability though). Sustainability, from a different perspective was also at the center of the Monday Keynote by Tom Igeo which I missed. Nicolas and Sharam did a great job and the choice to do a full day of demos worked out great. The large set of interactive demos presented captures and communicates a lot… Continue reading

Today we visited Christian Müller at DFKI in Saarbrücken. He organized a workshop on Automotive User Interfaces at IUI last week. My talk was on new directions for user interfaces and in particular arguing for a broad view on multimodality. We showed some of our recent projects on car user interfaces. Dagmar gave a short overview of CARS our simulator for evaluating driving performance and driver distractions and we discussed options for potential extensions and shortcomings of the Lane Change Task. Being a long time skeptic about voice interfaces I was surprise to see a convincing demo of a multimodal… Continue reading

During the workshop last week in Potsdam we got to see demos from students of Design of Physical and Virtual Interfaces class taught by Reto Wettach and JennyLC Chowdhury. The students had to design a working prototype of an interactive system. As base technology most of them use the Arduino Board with some custom made extensions. For a set of pictures see my photo gallery and the photos on flickr. It would need pages to describe all of the projects so I picked few…

The project “Navel” (by Juan Avellanosa, Florian Schulz and Michael Härtel) is a belt… Continue reading

Since last year we have in Germany a working group on graspable/tangible interaction in mixed realities. In German the key term we use is “begreifbar” or “begreifen” which has the meaning of acquire a deep understanding of something and the words basic meaning is to touch. Basically understand by touching – but in a more fundamental sense than grasping or getting grip. Hence the list of translations for “begreifen” given in the dictionary is quite long. Perhaps we should push more for the word in the international community – Towards interaction that is begreifbar (English has too few foreign… Continue reading

Following the workshop I got a few questions on what the important papers are that one should read to start on the topic. There are many (e.g. search in google schoolar for tangible interaction, physical interaction, etc and you will see) and there conference dedicated to it (e.g. the tangible and embedded interaction TEI – next week in cambridge).

But if I have to pick two here is my joice:

[1] Ishii, H. 2008. Tangible bits: beyond pixels. In Proceedings of the 2nd international Conference on Tangible and Embedded interaction (Bonn, Germany, February 18 – 20, 2008). TEI ’08.… Continue reading

This morning I met with Claudius Lazzeroni, a colleague from Folkwang Hochschule (they were part of our University till two years ago).   They have different study programs in design and art related subjects. He showed me some projects (http://www.shapingthings.net/ – in German but lots of pictures that give you the idea). Many of the ideas and prototypes related to our work and I hope we get some joint projects going. I think it could be really exciting to have projects with design and computer science students – looking forward to this! When I was in the UK… Continue reading