Monthly Archives: May 2009

Ever wanted to cite the number of “Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitance” in Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, …., United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia or Zimbabwe? Or the spending on mobile telephony or the computer penetration in these countries? Then the website I just came across may be interesting for you too: http://measuring-ict.unctad.org/

Here are the direct links to documents containing data:

Some of the figures seem really high to me – but I have not looked into detail. They… Continue reading

Looking for a way to get from Essen (leaving not before 18:00) to Newcastle (arriving before 10:00 the next day) and going back from Newcastle (leaving not before 17:00) to Zürich (arriving before 10:00 the next day) Chis pointed me to a website that is very helpful for such tasks… (at least with the flying part of it): http://www.skyscanner.de

I wonder how hard it is to build a similar tool that takes further modes of transport (e.g. train and rental car) into account…

On his way from Eindhoven to Zurich Morten Fjeld was visiting our group. It was great to catch up and talk about a number of exciting research projects and ideas. Some years ago one of my students from Munich did his final project with Morten working on haptic communication ideas, see [1]. Last year at TEI Morten had a paper on a related project – also using actuated sliders, see [2].

In his presentation Morten gave an overview of the research he does and we found a joint interest in capacitive sensing. Raphael Wimmer did his final project in Munich… Continue reading

On the way back from the PC-dinner we needed to get an update on another aspect of Japanese technologies and so we went into SEGA World in Nara.

Many of the games are very similar to other toys around the world – shooter, sports games and racing games. Each time you use games in such a setting one is reminded of the power a physical controls and the concept of tangible interaction…

The photo maker however was very different from what I have seen before. Technically it is interesting and well engineered: you make photos in a well lit area,… Continue reading

Jörg just sent me a link on a rubber-like stretchable display that is published in Nature Material. There is a previous press release with some photos [2]. This is a significant step towards new nteractive devices, such as the one suggested in the GUMMI project [3].

[1] Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors, Tsuyoshi Sekitani et al., Nature Materials, doi: 10.1038/nmat2459http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmat2459.html

[2] http://www.ntech.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/Archive/Archive_press_release/press_stretchable/documents/press_release_en.pdf

[3] Schwesig, C., Poupyrev, I., and Mori, E. 2004. Gummi: a bendable computer. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vienna, Austria, April 24 – 29, 2004).… Continue reading

Pervasive 2009 had a really exciting program and provided a good overview of current research in pervasive and ubiquitous computing. Have a look at the proceedings of the pervasive 2009 conference. The Noh theater in Nara was a very special and enjoyable venue and it was organized perfectly – as one would expect when travelling to Japan.

The idea of having short and long papers together in the main track worked very well in my view. The number of demos and posters was much higher than in the years before – and that was great and very inspiring. Have… Continue reading

I did a tutorial on Mobile Human Computer interaction at Pervasive 2009. The tutorial tried to give an overview of challenges of mobile HCI and was partly based on last year’s tutorial day at MobileHCI2008 in Amsterdam. For the slides from last year have a look at: http://albrecht-schmidt.blogspot.com/2008/09/mobilehci-2008-tutorial.html

Listening to Marc Langheinrich‘s tutorial on privacy I remembered that that I still have the photos of his HCI library – and to not forget them I upload them. Marc highlighted the risk of data analysis with the AOL Stalker example (some comments about the AOL Stalker). His… Continue reading

Our group was involved in 3 papers that are published at Pervasive 2009 in Nara.

The first contribution is a study on public display that was presented by Jörg Müller from Münster. The paper explores display blindness that can be observed in the real world (similarly to banner blindness) and concludes that the extent to which people look at displays is very much correlated to the users expectation of the content of a display in a certain location [1].

The second short paper is a survey on car advertising and has been conducted in the context of the master thesis… Continue reading

Toshio Iwai gave the keynote at Pervasive 2009 on expanding media art. He introduced us to the basics of moving images and films. The examples were fun and I think I will copy some for my introductory class on user interfaces for explaining the visual system (afterimages with a black-and-white negative image; the concept of combining images on two sides of a disk; the idea of moving images by using a flip book).

In his introduction he also went back to explain what he learned as a child and I found this very interesting and encouraging to expose smaller children… Continue reading

We got a good set of submission for our workshop and had about 20 participants who joined us in Nara to discuss how pervasive computing will shape advertising in the future. The papers and a selection of talks is online on the workshop website: http://pervasiveadvertising.org

One question that was central to our discussion was: what is advertising and how is it different from information. It became quickly clear that there is a lot of information that has an influence on behavior and in particular shopping decisions and some of it is considered advertising but much is not. Hence it seems… Continue reading

To get cheaper flights we took a flight on Thursday/Friday to fly from Europe to Japan (never really understood the pricing model of flights). So we had two days off before the actual conference and many colleagues (who also took cheap flights) were also there. We went to do some sightseeing in Nara and Kyoto – which was great.

In Kyoto we got personal guides – students from a University in Kyoto – who offered to show us run and use this to practice their English. It was great for us as we got many insights we would have missed… Continue reading